Guest Post: Pastitsio (Greek Lasagna)
This dish is a monster! A massive dish layered with pasta, meat sauce and creamy rich béchamel sauce. Perfect for game day Sunday when you need to feed a crowd. Since it can be a bit heavy, I lightened it up by using half mushrooms and half ground meat giving you a great boost of nutrition without anyone feeling like something is missing. Each layer can be made in advance and assembled when you are ready to enjoy it.
Prep Time 25 minutes
Cook time: approx. 1 hour 10 minutes.
- 600g bag penne (you may have some left over)
- 1/2 cup crumbled feta
- 2 eggs (beaten)
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1 (.5kg) package of ground beef or pork or a mixture of both.
- 2 pints of mushrooms (use your favorite), approximately 30
- 2 small onions, quartered
- 2 cloves garlic
- 14 oz canned pureed tomatoes
- 1 tsp sugar
- 1/2 tsp cinnamon
- 1/4 tsp nutmeg
- salt and pepper to taste
- 1/3 cup olive oil
- 2/3 cup flour
- 3 and 1/2 cups milk, warm
- pinch of nutmeg
- 1/2 cup feta, crumbled
- Boil the pasta according to package instruction but drain about 4 minutes before you are supposed to. The pasta will cook more in the oven and you don’t want it too soft and mushy.
- While hot, stir in the egg and cheese. Set aside.
- In a large fry pan over medium high, heat the oil and brown the meat breaking it up into small pieces with your spoon.
- While the meat is frying add the mushrooms, onions and garlic to a food processor. Mince until fine.
- Add the vegetables to the meat and continue to fry until most of the moisture has evaporated.
- Add the tomatoes and spices and simmer on medium for 10 minutes. Set aside.
- Heat the oil over medium heat until just warm, about 3 minutes.
- Stir in the flour and form a thick paste.
- Whisk in the milk and nutmeg and continue whisking until thick. Set aside.
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a deep 13 x 9 casserole dish.
- Layer half the pasta on the bottom of the dish smoothing flat. You want it about two noodles thick.
- Next layer the meat sauce evenly on top.
- Top with remaining pasta.
- Smooth the Béchamel evenly over top and sprinkle with feta.
- Bake in oven for 40 minutes or until top is golden. Let sit for at least 30 minutes before cutting into and serving. This way it won’t fall apart when you dish it up. Enjoy!
This project was funded in part through the Canadian Agricultural Partnership (the Partnership), a federal-provincial-territorial initiative. The Agricultural Adaptation Council assists in the delivery of the Partnership in Ontario.