Pastitsio

Pastitsio


Preparation Time: Cook Time:

Ingredients / serves 8

  • 700 g beef mince
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped
  • 2 sticks celery, finely chopped
  • ½ cup red wine
  • 700 g bottle tomato passata
  • 1 cup beef stock
  • 2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 tbsp dried oregano leaves
  • 1 fresh bay leaf

  • Cheese sauce
  • 90 g butter
  • ½ cup plain flour
  • 3 cups milk
  • 1 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1 cup grated kefalotyri cheese (or pecorino)
  • 2 egg yolks, lightly beaten

  • To assemble
  • 400 g long tubular macaroni, cooked
  • ⅔ cup grated kefalotyri cheese (or pecorino)
  • 2 egg whites, lightly beaten
  • 1 cup fresh breadcrumbs

Method

To make the beef sauce heat a large, deep-sided non-stick frypan, over a medium-high heat. Crumble in one third of the mince. Cook the mince, breaking up any lumps with a fork. Let the liquid evaporate and allow the mince to brown. Remove the first batch, reheat pan and cook remaining mince in two batches and set aside.
Reduce heat to medium. Add oil to the frypan and heat, add onion and celery, cook until onion is just soft. Return the mince to the frypan, add the wine and cook stirring occasionally until the mince has absorbed all of the wine.
Add the tomato passata, stock, cinnamon, oregano and bay leaf, season with salt, pepper and a small pinch of sugar. Bring to the boil, reduce heat to low, partly cover and simmer for 40-45 minutes. Add a little water to sauce if needed as it cooks. The completed sauce should be slightly runny. Remove the bay leaf.
To make the white sauce heat the butter in a saucepan over a medium heat, add flour and stir to combine, cook for 30 seconds. Add the milk gradually, stir until smooth. Add nutmeg, and season with salt and pepper. Stir constantly until the mixture boils and thickens. Cool slightly, and then stir in the cheese and egg yolk.
To assemble, preheat oven to 180°C. Grease a deep, rectangular ovenproof dish. Mix macaroni with egg whites and cheese. Add half of the macaroni to the baking dish, top with half of the beef mince sauce. Repeat with macaroni and remaining beef mince sauce and then the white sauce.
Cook covered for 20 minutes, uncover and sprinkle with breadcrumbs and butter. Cook uncovered for a further 20-30 minutes, or until thoroughly hot. Remove from oven and stand for 10-15 minutes before serving.

Essential Tips

  • Don’t cut the Pastitsio too soon after baking or you’ll get messy servings, better to let to stand for 10-15 minutes before cutting.

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Pastitsio

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