I’m really enjoying Rick’s recipes, I’ve tried all of them with the Moroccan Meatballs being one of my favourites up to now. I think it’s a case of each new recipe usurping the one that came before.
Pastitsio is like a Greek version of lasagne - beef & pasta with cinnamon, red wine & cheese.
Tonight I’m going to be trying this one, as a practice run for the December holidays. It’s perfect for an early outdoor dinner, with a large table, umbrellas, crusty bread and light beers or red wine.
The original recipe calls for Greek Kefalotiri cheese. If you cannot get hold of some use Parmesan as I’ve done in the recipe below.
Watch Rick Stein show you how to prepare a Pastitsio Recipe, other wise know as Greek Lasagne.
Serves: 8-10 Preparation: 30 min Cooking: 1 1/2 hours
|Lean Mince Beef||1||kg|
|Salt & Pepper|
|Fresh White Breadcrumbs||10||g|
For the Meat Sauce
- Chop the onion, garlic cloves, celery and the fresh oregano
- Grate the cheese
- Whisk the eggs
For the Meat Sauce
- Heat some olive oil in a pan
- Add the onion, garlic & celery
- Cook until it turns soft and golden
- Toss in the mince and brown over a high heat, breaking up the lumps, about 4 minutes
- Pour in the red wine, chopped tomatoes, tomato puree, cinnamon, ground cloves, both the dry and fresh oregano, bay leaves, water and salt & pepper.
- Simmer until the sauce has thickened, about 30 – 40 minutes
- When done take off the heat and remove the cinnamon and bay leaves.
For the pasta
- Cook as per the packet instructions
- Drain and transfer to a bowl
For the White Sauce
- Melt the butter in a saucepan
- Add the flour and cook for about 1 minute while stirring (medium heat)
- Gradually pour in the milk, stirring well, bring to a boil amd then simmer on low for up to 7 minutes.
- Stir every now and again.
- Season with the nutmeg and salt & pepper
Bringing it all together
- Preheat the oven to 180C
- Pour 250 ml of the white sauce over the pasta
- Pour in the whisked eggs
- Add half of the grated cheese
- Mix it well
- Grease an oven proof baking dish
- Spread a third of the pasta into the baking dish
- Cover with the meat sauce
- Add another third of the pasta and the rest of the meat sauce
- Add a third layer of pasta and spoon over the rest of the white sauce
- Mix the remaining cheese with the breadcrumbs and sprinkle over the top
- Bake for 40 minutes
Best served outdoors at a big table with umbrellas, lots of crusty bread, light beer or red wine
A little wiki about Pastitsio
Pastitsio, sometimes spelled Pastichio, is a Greek and Mediterranean baked pasta dish including ground beef and bechamel sauce in its best-known form.
Pastitsio takes its name from the Italian pasticcio, a large family of baked savoury pies which may be based on meat, fish, or pasta.Many Italian versions include a pastry crust, some include bechamel.The word pasticcio comes from pasta and means ‘pie’, and has developed the figurative meanings of ‘a mess’, ‘a tough situation’, or a pastiche.
The typical Greek version has a bottom layer that is bucatini or other tubular pasta, with cheese and egg as a binder; a middle layer of ground beef, veal or lamb with tomato and cinnamon, nutmeg or allspice; another layer of pasta; and a top layer of sauce, varying from an egg-based custard to a flour-based Bechamel or a Bechamel with cheese (known as Mornay sauce in France). Grated cheese is often sprinkled on top. Pastitsio is a common dish, and is often served as a main course, with a salad.
About Rick Stein
Rick Stein opened his first business in Padstow in 1974, and now specialises in fish cookery. His business operates four restaurants, a bistro, a cafe, a seafood delicatessen, patisserie shop, a gift shop and a cookery school. His impact on the local economy of Padstow is such that it has been nicknamed “Padstein” despite the phrase being openly disputed by Rick himself.
In 2009 Rick Stein made his first acquisition in the nearby trading village of St Merryn, which is 3.5 miles from Padstow. When taking over the Cornish Arms public house, which is located on the outskirts of St Merryn, Stein’s stated aim was to ‘keep it a traditional Cornish pub’.
On 1 October 2009, Rick Stein opened with his fiancee publicist Sarah Burns, “Rick Stein at Bannisters” in Mollymook, on the South Coast of New South Wales, Australia. Rick said at the time of opening, “Ever since a memorable weekend eating Pambula oysters and flathead in Merimbula in the sixties, I’ve had the image of the clean blue sea and sweet seafood of the South Coast fixed in my head so when I was introduced to Mollymook about six years ago I knew that one day I would open up a restaurant celebrating local fish and shellfish but keeping it really simple. Bannisters was the relaxed seaside hotel that I was looking for, so when they asked me if I’d be interested in cooking there I jumped at the opportunity”.
As well as running his business, Rick Stein has become a popular television presenter on food. Gaining early exposure after appearing on Keith Floyd’s 1984 series Floyd On Fish as a guest chef, he was noticed by the show’s producer and was later offered the chance to present his own series, similar in vein to the “travelogue” style of cookery show pioneered by Floyd on BBC television including Rick Stein’s Taste of the Sea, Fruits of the Sea, Seafood Odyssey, Fresh Food, Seafood Lovers’ Guide,Food Heroes, and in 2005 French Odyssey about a memorable journey down the canals of South Western France to the Mediterranean, Mediterranean Escapes. This starts where French Odyssey left off, and explores the Mediterranean coastline and islands in search of the best in the region’s foods. Rick Stein’s Far Eastern Odyssey, travelling around Malaysia, Cambodia, Thailand, Vietnam and Indonesia.
His current television programme is about the cooking of Spain off the beaten track.Stein was often accompanied by his Jack Russell terrier, Chalky, who died in January 2007.
A book has accompanied each series, and his book English Seafood Cookery won the Glenfiddich Award for Food Book of the Year in 1989. Rick Stein was awarded the OBE in the 2003 New Year Honours list for services to tourism in Cornwall.