Nisi Living Blog

Pastitsio

Pastitsio is the Greek answer to Lasagne and, like its Italian counterpart, is a real crowd-pleaser. The recipe works with either beef mince (the Greek version) or pork mince (the Cypriot version) and tastes even better the next day, so make sure you make loads of it!

Ingredients (serves 8)

  • 150g finely grated halloumi cheese
  • 2 onions
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • olive oil
  • 1 tbs tomato puree
  • 750g mince beef or pork
  • 400g chopped tomatoes
  • 1 tsp ground cinammon
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 300ml beef stock
  • 500g macaroni pasta (or similar)
  • handful of flat-leaf parsley
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1.6L milk
  • 160g unsalted butter
  • 160g plain flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • salt & pepper

Cook the mince meat with the finely chopped onion & garlic on a low heat for about 10 minutes. Add the cinammon, tomato puree & bay leaves & fry for a few more minutes. Stir in the chopped tomatoes & beef stock, bring to the boil, then reduce to low & simmer for 30 minutes.

Cook the pasta in salted water until 'al dente' then drain & drizzle with a little olive oil. Add finely chopped parsely & toss through with 1 whisked egg & a handful of grated halloumi.

Make a bechamel sauce using melted butter, flour, baking powder & warm milk. Whisk the milk in gradually until you have a smooth white sauce. Add half the remaining cheese & whisk in 2 eggs, adding salt & pepper to season.

Layer up the Pastitsio in a deep roasting tray or earthenware dish; firstly, a layer of pasta, then the meat sauce, then repeat. Pour over the white sauce & scatter with the remaining grated cheese.

Bake in the oven for about 45 minutes until golden & bubbling on top. Remove & allow to cool for half an hour before slicing & serving.

Enjoy!