Pastitsio is a Greek dish that consists of layers of pasta, mince meat and bechamel sauce.
In Greece beef mince is usually used, whereas in Cyprus it is pork or a mix of both.
Prep time: 35 minutes
Cooking time: 1-1.5 hours
Serves: 10-12 pieces
700 grams of beef mince
1 carton of passata
1 medium sized onion
2 cloves of garlic
2 Bay leaves
1 cinnamon stick
1 beef stock cube
1 tbsp of allspice
Half a glass of red wine
Half a glass of water
1 packet of pastitsio or penne pasta
150 grams of Feta cheese
150 grams of grated Graviera cheese
A handful of parsley
2 sticks of butter
1 cup of flour
1 litre of semi skimmed milk
1 tsp nutmeg
1 tsp olive oil
Step. 1: Put the olive oil in a large, shallow frying pan and then add the chopped onions and garlic. Let it cook until fragrant. Then add the mince meat.
Step. 2: Once the mince meat turns into a brown colour, season with salt and pepper, add the bay leaves, cinammon stick, wine, beef stock and water. Then add the passata and let it all simmer for 20 minutes on a low heat until the sauce thickens, then stir in the parsley.
Step. 3: In the meanwhile, heat the pasta until it is Al dente. Then drain the pasta and put it back in its saucepan. Add the egg and feta cheese and mix together. Preheat the oven at 200 degrees.
Step. 4: In an ovenproof dish add one layer of pasta first, then the mince meat, then the pasta again.
Step. 5: In a separate saucepan on a medium-high heat add the butter and flour, whisk until it forms into a roux. Then add all of the milk and continue whisking until it forms into a thick sauce. Add the nutmeg and some salt and pepper to season.
Step. 6: Lay the bechamel sauce on top of the pasta layer and sprinkle the Graviera cheese on top. Place it in the oven and let it cook until the top is golden brown. This will take an hour the minimum.