Elena’s Pasticcio

Elena’s Pasticcio is a lighter version of the traditional Greek pastitzio as it does not have the bechamel sauce but rather egg to bind.  The pasta is laid uniformly so that the cut pasticcio has an attractive appearance. We share with you Elena’s recipe.

 

Elena’s Pasticcio

Ingredients

Meat Sauce

  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 small knob of butter
  • 1 large onion finely chopped
  • 1 kg of pork and veal mince
  • 1 1/2 cups water
  • 1 tbsp tomato paste
  • 1 tbsp chicken/veg stock powder
  • 1 1/2 cup water
  • 2 x 750 ml bottles of tomato puree
  • 1/2 cup dry red wine
  • 1 sprig rosemary (chopped finely)
  • 1 bay leaf
  • salt and pepper

Pasticcio

IMG_20151224_113627-Misko pasta
Pasta for Pasticcio
  • 750 g greek pastizio pasta or penne rigate.  This is the easiest pasta to use . If you can’t find this type of pasta you can lay out rows of penne rigate pasta evenly down and across putting them end to end in columns down the short side of the baking tray. Continued across the whole tray this way and for subsequent layers. This takes a little longer but the effort is well worth it.
  • 6 eggs, well beaten with a little milk added
  • 2 cups of parmesan cheese finely grated
  • ground black pepper

Method

Meat Sauce

  1. In a large wide saucepan add 2 tablespoons of olive oil and the knob of butter and heat on  medium.
  2. When the butter is melted add the chopped onion and cook on medium low for 6 minutes till translucent.
  3. Increase the heat to high and add the mince, browning and separating it well.
  4. Add the 2 bottles of tomato puree, the tomato paste, 1 1/2 cups of water and mix well.
  5. Add the red wine, and stir the stock powder.
  6. Season with the salt and ground black pepper and add in the bay leaf and chopped rosemary.
  7. When the sauce begins to boil, lower the heat to low and simmer for 1 1/2 hours.
  8. Stir the mixture occasionally checking that the liquid has not evaporated too much. A moist liquid sauce is required rather than a dry one because the pasta will be added half cooked and will need the extra liquid in the sauce to complete cooking. So add a little more water if needed.
  9. When it is cooked set the sauce aside.

Making up the Pasticcio

  1. Pre-heat the oven to 180 c
  2. Select a tray 25 cm x 35 cm for the ingredients in this recipe
  3. Check the seasoning of the meat sauce.
  4. Cook the pasta for 6 minutes in boiling salted water then strain well, running cold water over it as you strain, to cool it so that the pasta can be handled.
  5. Spoon some meat sauce over the bottom of the baking tray large enough for the pasta to fit across the long side. (25cm x 35 cm)
  6. Lay the pasta close together across the meat sauce in the tray, covering the whole tray.
  7. Spoon more meat sauce over the pasta making sure to put some into the corners of the tray.
  8. Sprinkle parmesan cheese over the whole layer.
  9. Grind some black pepper over the top.
  10. Continue layering in this way till the tray is filled, ending with sauce covered with cheese.
  11. Lightly beat the 6 eggs till well combined and add a little milk to the mixture.
  12. Spoon this over the top of the pasta and use a skewer to help ease the egg to penetrate through the layers. Go over the whole tray this way till the egg has penetrated.
  13. Grind some black pepper over the top and place the tray into the pre- heated oven.
  14. Bake for 30 minutes and then check the colour of the pasticcio. If it is golden brown to your liking place a sheet of foil loosely over the tray and bake for a further 10 minutes.
  15. Here is what the finished paticcio looks like:

    IMG_20151224_175813-Paticcio in baking tray
    After 40 minutes
  16. Remove from the oven, take off the foil and allow the pasticcio to rest for 10 minutes before cutting and serving.
  17. The pasticcio can be made ahead or you can also freeze portions for later. It re-heats well. Because the pasta has been laid closely together in layers and bound with the egg and sauce it is quite easy to cut and serve.
  18. This recipe makes 12 generous serves.

IMG_20151225_150203-slice of pasticcio

This is quite an easy recipe and with the proper pasta and the meat sauce made ahead, it is also quick to put together. Do try try it. Thank you Elena for sharing this recipe with us.

 

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