Archive | September, 2016

Fall comforts: Seventeen pastitsio

21 Sep

With cooler weather arriving, the time is right for some retro casseroles.

A reader says the recipe pages included an egg and lemon soup and baklava.

Greek-style Casserole (aka Pastitsio)

Meat Sauce:
2 tbsp vegetable oil
2 medium onions chopped
2 cloves garlic minced
1 lb ground beef or lamb
1 can (8 oz) tomato sauce
2 tbsp tomato paste
½ tsp cinnamon
1 tsp Salt

Pasta:
1 lb ziti or elbow macaroni
2 tbsp butter
1 cup Parmesan or Romano cheese
4 egg whites slightly beaten

Béchamel Sauce:
6 tbsp butter
¾ cup flour
3 cups milk
1 can (10 ¾ oz) chicken broth
¾ tsp salt
1/8 tsp pepper
4 egg yolks slightly beaten

  1. Heat oil in large skillet over medium-high heat. Add onion and garlic, sauté until golden. Add ground beef; brown. Drain off excess fat. Add tomato sauce, tomato paste, salt and cinnamon. Reduce heat, cover and simmer for 20 minutes.
    2. Meanwhile, cook macaroni as package directs. When it’s done, drain and toss with butter, ¾ cup of parmesan cheese and egg whites until the butter has melted.
    3. Preheat oven to 350°F. Spoon half of the macaroni mixture into a shallow 3 quart casserole dish or a lasagna pan, then spoon the meat mixture. Cover with the remaining macaroni mixture and set aside.
    4. Béchamel Sauce: In large saucepan, melt the butter over medium-high heat. Add flour and stir until completely blended and smooth, remove from heat. Gradually stir in milk and broth. Return to heat, cook and stir constantly until mixture thickens and comes to a boil. Stir in salt and pepper.
    5. To blend egg yolks into the hot béchamel sauce: First stir 1 cup of sauce into the egg yolks, then add the yolk mixture into the rest of the sauce.
    6. Pour sauce over top of the casserole. With a knife make a few holes into the casserole all the way down to the bottom of the baking dish to allow the sauce to reach the bottom layer. Sprinkle the top with remaining grated cheese. Bake at 350° for 45 minutes until brown and bubbly. Cool for about 10 minutes. Cut into squares. Makes 6-8 servings.