Pastitsio – yum! This well-loved Greek pasta dish is similar to both moussaka and lasagne. Lamb is the more traditional ingredient but you can use beef mince if you prefer.
If you enjoy lasagne but feel like trying something a bit different, pastitsio is a great alternative.
It’s warm and comforting, and lightened up with a crisp side salad.
PRINT RECIPE PDF
Pastitsio - yum! This well-loved Greek pasta dish is similar to both moussaka and lasagne. Lamb mince is the more traditional ingredient but you can use beef mince if you prefer.
COOK MINCE AND PASTA
Dice onion and crush garlic. Heat oil in a large non-stick pot on medium-high. Cook onion and garlic for 2-3 minutes, until just soft. Add mince, breaking up with a wooden spoon, until browned all over.
Stir in crumbled stock cubes, oregano, cumin, cinnamon and tomato paste. Cook for 2 minutes, then add tomatoes, water and sugar. Reduce heat to medium. Simmer, stirring occasionally, while you prepare other ingredients.
Preheat oven to 190ºC (375ºF) fan bake. Bring a large saucepan of salted water to the boil. Cook pasta for 8-10 minutes, or according to instructions on packet, until al dente.
MAKE BÉCHAMEL SAUCE
Meanwhile, melt butter in a medium-sized non-stick saucepan on medium-low. Once butter is bubbling, stir in flour and cook for 1 minute. Gradually whisk in milk, to form a smooth sauce. Cook for about 5 minutes, until sauce thickens (it should coat the back of a wooden spoon). Remove from heat and stir in Colby cheese and half the parmesan cheese, until melted. Stir in eggs and season both béchamel sauce and mince mixture with salt and pepper.
Drain pasta and stir in oil, then cheese. Pour into an oven-safe dish (approximately 25cm / 10in square). Top with mince mixture, then pour béchamel sauce on top. Sprinkle with remaining parmesan. Bake for 20-25 minutes, until golden brown and bubbling.
MAKE SALAD AND SERVE
While pastitsio cooks, divide rocket between individual serving plates. Dice cucumber, tomato and shallot and place on top of rocket. Drizzle with oil. Leave pastitsio to rest for 5 minutes, then cut into pieces and serve with salad.
WINE MATCH: A Sangiovese.
GLUTEN-FREE OPTION: Use gluten-free stock cubes and gluten-free pasta. Swap plain flour for plain gluten-free flour.
INGREDIENT SWAPS / NOTES: If you don’t like lamb, use beef mince instead. You can omit the parmesan and replace with Colby cheese.
STORING AND REHEATING: Store pastitsio separate from salad. Reheat in the microwave and add salad just before serving.