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One of my favourite Greek dishes is pastitsio, which was introduced to me by my sister, who lives in Greece. She doesn't have any particular recipe that she follows so I had to look for a version that was close to hers, having watched once while she prepared it. This one from Easy Greek-Style Cookery is the closest to hers in taste and ingredients used.
- 8 ounces penne
- 2 eggs, lightly beaten
- 3⁄4 cup parmesan cheese, grated
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 onions, chopped
- 1 1⁄2 lbs ground beef
- 1 3⁄4 cups tomato puree
- 1⁄3 cup tomato paste
- 1⁄2 cup beef stock
- 1⁄4 cup dry white wine
- 1⁄2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1 egg, lightly beaten
- 3⁄8 cup butter
- 1⁄2 cup all-purpose flour
- 3 1⁄2 cups milk
- 1 cup parmesan cheese, grated
- 2 egg yolks
- 2 tablespoons dry breadcrumbs
- Grease a 9" x 13" baking dish.
- Add the pasta to a large pan of boiling water; boil, uncovered, until just tender; drain.
- Combine the hot pasta, eggs and cheese in a large bowl; mix well.
- Put to one side.
- To make the meat sauce, heat the oil in a large pan, add the onions and ground beef and cook, stirring, until the meat is well browned.
- Stir in the tomato puree, tomato paste, beef stock, wine and cinnamon; simmer uncovered until thick; cool.
- Stir in the egg.
- To make the topping, melt the butter in a large saucepan and add the flour.
- Stir over low heat until bubbling.
- Remove from the heat and gradually stir in the milk.
- Stir over low heat until the sauce boils and thickens.
- Stir in the cheese and cool slightly.
- Stir in the egg yolks.
- To assemble, press the pasta over the base of the prepared baking dish.
- Top the pasta evenly with the meat sauce, pour over the topping and smooth the surface.
- Sprinkle with the bread crumbs.
- Bake, uncovered, in a 350 degree F oven for 1 hour or until lightly browned.
- Let stand for 10 minutes before serving.
This was a fantastic dish! The only thing I did different was add some dry mint, which we love in our house. Oh, and I used ground turkey instead of beef. I was able to make two smaller casseroles out of this one recipe and it fed us just fine (2.5 people). I was going to freeze the second one, but my husband wanted to eat it the very next night! I think the re-heated dish was a little dry, but still very tasty! Fantastic!