Bistro 1907

44 Federal Plaza East,
Youngstown, OH 44503
(330) 238-7171

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Pastitsio (Greek Lasagna)

Pastitsio (Greek Lasagna)

A classic Greek main course with layers of ziti, meat and cheese.

  • Total Time1 hr 50 min
  • Yield1 each 9 x 13 casserole dish
  • Cuisine
    • Mediterranean
  • Course
    • Main Course
  • Cooking Method
    • Baking

Ingredients

Pasta

  • 1 ½ pounds bronze die ziti
  • 3 tablespoons kosher salt
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 cup grated Parmesan cheese

Bechamel

  • 8 tablespoons sweet unsalted butter
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 4 cups whole milk
  • 1 cup 36% heavy whipping cream
  • 2 cups grated Parmesan
  • 6 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 5 to 6 turns fresh ground black pepper
  • 4 grates fresh nutmeg

Greek Meat Sauce

  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 cups minced sweet onions
  • 4 cloves slivered garlic
  • 1-pound 80/20 coarse ground beef
  • 1-pound coarse ground lamb
  • ¼ cup double concentrate tomato paste
  • 2 each 28-ounce cans of San Marzano tomatoes (hand crush)
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 1 tablespoon Greek oregano
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 5 to 6 turns fresh ground black pepper

Method

Pasta

1

In a large stock pot over medium-high heat, add 1 gallon of water, salt, and bring to a boil, add the ziti and stir, cook the ziti until al dente, about 11 to 13 minutes, remove from the heat and drain into a colander over the sink.  In a large bowl, toss the rigatoni with extra virgin olive oil, grated Parmesan cheese and set aside.

Bechamel

2

In a medium saucepan over medium-high heat, add the butter, flour and stir to combine with the butter, cook until the flour is fragrant and nutty, slowly whisk in the milk & cream in a steady stream until smooth.  Bring to a boil, about 5 to 6 minutes, turn down to low heat.  Stirring often, simmer the bechamel until thickened and creamy, about 14 to 15 minutes. Season with salt, pepper and nutmeg. Remove from the heat and set aside. Whisk in the grated Parmesan cheese until smooth, add the eggs and whisk until fully incorporated.

Greek Meat Sauce

3

In a medium sauce pot over medium-high heat, add the olive oil, garlic, onions and salt, saute until the onions are translucent, about 4 to 5 minutes.   Add the ground beef and lamb, stir into the onions and garlic breaking the meat apart.  Saute until the meat is browned, about 8 to 10 minutes.  Add the tomato paste, mix well and fry out for 2 minutes.  Add the San Marzano tomatoes, cinnamon stick, oregano and pepper, bring to a boil and reduce to a simmer, about 8 to 9 minutes.  Simmer the meat sauce until the tomatoes are broken down and the sauce has reduced by a fifth, about 30 to 35 minutes, remove from the heat and set aside.  Adjust the salt and pepper then remove the cinnamon stick.

Assemble The Pastitsio

4

Preheat the oven to 375 F. In a 10 x 14 x 3 heavy lasagna pan brush the bottom and sides of the lasagna pan with the reserved olive oil from the pasta.  Add ½ of the meat sauce to the pasta and mix well and pour into lasagna pan.  Push the ziti down into the pan evenly, top with the remainder of the meat sauce.  Pour the bechamel over the layer of meat sauce and with a rubber spatula, evenly spread the bechamel sauce.  Place the Pastitsio on a ½ baking tray into a preheated 375F. oven for 35 to 40 minutes, or until the sides are bubbly and the top is golden brown. Remove from the oven to a cooling rack for 20 minutes.

Serve The Pastitsio

5

Cut the lasagna into 12 equal pieces (4 x 3) place dinner plates and garnish with a sprinkle of Greek oregano and grated Parmesan.

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