Pastitsio

Pastitsio

Pastitsio is a Greek alternative to Italian lasagna.

Meat Sauce
8 oz
93% lean ground beef
1 tbl
water
tsp
baking soda
tsp
salt
1 tbl
olive oil
cup
chopped onion


Spices
1 tsp
dried oregano
1 tsp
paprika
⅛ tsp
red pepper flakes
⅛ tsp black pepper
1 tsp
ground cinnamon
1 tsp
chopped fresh mint or dried fresh mint
3 cloves
garlic, run through a garlic press


cup
red wine (any good red will do)
⅓ cup tomato paste
cup
water




Bechamel Sauce
2 tbl
butter
2 tbl
AP flour
tsp
salt
tsp
ground nutmeg
⅛ tsp black pepper
1 clove
garlic, run through a garlic press
4 cups
whole milk


Other Stuff
8 oz (by weight)
ziti pasta
3 oz (by weight)
mozzarella cheese, grated
1 oz (by weight)
pecorino Romano cheese, grated
1
large egg, beaten

Add the water, baking soda, and salt to a bowl and stir to dissolve.  Add the beef, break it up and make sure all of it is covered with the water solution.  Set this aside.

 

Put a medium sauce pan over medium heat and add the olive oil.  Add the onions and cook until softened but not browned (approx. 3 minutes).  While the onions cook mix the spices together.

 

Once the onions have softened, add the spices to the onions and cook for 1 minute.  Add the wine and cook for 3 more minutes while it reduces and thickens.  Add the tomato paste, meat mixture, and water.  Break the meat into small pieces and when the mixture starts to simmer, turn the heat to low, cover it, and let it cook for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.  It should thicken.  After 30 minutes take it off the heat as set aside.

 

Now make the bechamel sauce.  Mix the flour, salt, nutmeg, black pepper, and garlic together in a bowl.  Melt the butter in a medium saucepan, add the flour mixture to the melted butter and cook for 1 minute.  Slowly whisk the milk in and bring to a simmer.  Add the ziti to the bechamel and bring it back to a simmer.  When the ziti and bechamel come back to a simmer, take it off the heat off, put a lid on the pot and let it sit for 15 minutes.

 

While the ziti sits, grate the cheeses, mix them together, and put them in a bowl.  Now grease an 8 X8 casserole dish.  Use a slotted spoon to scoop the ziti from the bechamel sauce and add it to the casserole dish.  Add ⅓ of the cheese to the ziti and stir it in.  Spread the meat sauce you cooked earlier in an even layer over the ziti.

 

Add ⅓ of the cheese to the bechamel sauce and stir in.  Now add the egg to the bechamel and stir in well.  Now spoon the bechamel over the meat sauce and spread it evenly.  Scatter the remaining cheese evenly over the bechamel.

 

Put the casserole dish on a baking sheet and place it in a 375 oven uncovered for 50 minutes or until browned on top.  Take the pastitsio out of the oven and let it cool for 20 minutes.

 

Serve.


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