Baked Pastitsio aka Greek Style Lasagne
My Greek Grandma, Yiayia, use to make this dish almost once a week. It was a staple in her house and we all remember family gatherings with a big dish of fresh baked pastichio. This is comfort food that sends me back to my childhood. When my brother and cousins would be playing rugby down my yiayia’s hallway and we would have all the family gathered around her dining table, or two tables, to celebrate our family. There would always be so much food, but very rarely would there be any pastichio left over!
500 g ziti pasta (or you can use penne) *GF Pasta is fine to use too
2 tbsp olive oil plus more for greasing* (low Fodmap use Garlic & Onion Infuded Oil)
2 onions, chopped finely*
1 clove garlic, chopped*
500 g beef mince
1 ½ cups tomatoes, chopped
2 cups (500 ml) tomato sauce
1 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp cinnamon
½ tsp allspice
½ tsp salt
½ tsp pepper
1 cup Mizithra, crumbled (Romano will work if you can’t find Mizithra)
1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
- Cook pasta in lightly salted water until al dente. Drain, and drizzle with 1 tablespoon of olive oil and toss. Set aside to cool.
- Heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a pan on medium heat. Add onion and garlic and sauté until fragrant. Add ground beef and brown. Pour in tomatoes, tomato sauce, oregano, cinnamon, allspice, salt, and pepper and combine. Cover and simmer until liquid has been reduced (about 40 minutes).
- Preheat oven to 180C.
- Meanwhile, to make béchamel, melt butter in a pan on low. Whisk in flour and cook on low a few minutes, being careful not to brown. Slowly add in milk, whisking, making sure to whisk out lumps. Cook, stirring, until the sauce starts to thicken. Remove from heat and stir in pepper and nutmeg. Set aside.
- When meat is ready, add 1 cup crumbled Mizithra, 2 eggs, ½ cup (125ml) béchamel sauce and stir to combine. In a greased baking pan, spread half of the pasta on the bottom of the pan to cover evenly, then add half of the béchamel egg mix and coat the pasta. Spread the meat mixture evenly on top of the pasta. Top with the remaining pasta and make sure to cover evenly with remaining egg mix. Pour all remaining béchamel sauce over top. Top with Parmesan cheese.
- Bake for 40-50 minutes, or until top is golden brown and bubbling. Let cool 10-15 minutes before cutting.