Greek Cooking Challenge
Pastichio ~ Greek Style Lasagne
Pastichio is a Traditional Greek Pasta Dish that is often described as a Greek Style Lasagna.
I’m not sure who discovered it first, the Greeks or the Italians, but pastichio and lasagna are very much the same. The main difference is that the Italians will use sheets of pasta and the Greeks use penne pasta or macaronia.
Pastichio is a dish that is eaten at almost every family celebration, perfect for birthday parties, family dinners, name days, Easter, Christmas or just when you are having people over to visit.
It is normally served in a large rectangle dish and there is usually enough to feed 15-20 people. Perhaps this is why the Greeks and the Italians like to make pastichio – because we always have sooooo many people invited to our parties!
Sometimes pastichio is spelt pastitsio but it is pronounced PA…STI…CHI…O and so I spell it the way it sounds.
Here is the pastichio recipe that I plan to cook for the Greek Cooking Challenge:
Step 1: Recipe
The pastichio recipe that I plan to cook has been written by the lovely Krystina Kalapothakos: The chef behind the blog Kouzounas Kitchen. Inspired by her yiayia, Krystina pursued her passion and love of cooking and travelled to the Greek Island of Skiathos to completed her professional training. I love the recipes that she posts on her Facebook page and the stories that she shares about her family. I plan to use Krystina’s Pastichio Recipe for the Greek Cooking Challenge and you are welcome to cook it as well. Or if you prefer, you can choose to use your own family recipe.
Pastitsio: Authentic Greek Dish by Krystina Kalapothakos from Kouzounas Kitchen:
- 1/2 cup of olive oil
- 900gr (2 pounds) of ground beef
- 1 onion- minced
- 2 cloves of garlic- minced
- 1 cup of red wine
- 1 1/2 cup of tomato sauce
- 4 tbsp of chopped parsley
- 2 tsp of cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp of all spice
- 1 3/4 cups of grated parmesan cheese
- Sea salt and ground pepper
- 4 tbsp of bread crumbs- you can make your own, just use French bread loaf and grind in blender.
- 1 packet of macaroni- penne pasta
- 4 egg whites
- 110gr (1 stick) of butter
- 220gr (2 sticks) of butter
- 1 cup of all purpose flour
- 4 cups (1 quart) of milk
- 8 egg yolks
- Sea salt and ground pepper
- 2 tea spoons of ground nutmeg
Pastichio Recipe ~ Instructions
- To prepare the meat filling, heat a large pan over medium heat with olive oil. Add in the ground beef and cook until the beef is pink. (About 5 -6 minutes.) Add in the wine, tomato sauce, garlic, onion, parsley, cinnamon, salt & pepper, all spice. Have the sauce simmer for about ten minutes. (While the sauce is simmering, boil the water for the pasta.
- When the pasta is done, rinse and drain. Rinse under cool water. Set aside.
- Stir in the bread crumbs into the meat sauce, to absorb the liquids. Remove the pan from the heat. Next melt 1/2 cup of butter in the pasta pot, and place the pasta back into the pot. Mix the melted butter and pasta together. Mix in the beaten egg whites, and 1 cup of cheese.
- In a baking dish or lasagna dish, brush the dish with olive oil. Start by layering the pasta on the bottom. Place half the pasta on the bottom of the baking dish. Add the meat filling to the top of the pasta, making sure it is evened out. Repeat the same steps.
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees or 200 C. prepare the béchamel sauce.
- Melt the butter in a saucepan over low heat. While using a whisk, add flour to the melted butter and whisking frequently to make a smooth roux or paste. Cook the mixture for about a minute, but making sure not to burn it.
- Add in the warm milk to the roux and whisk. Simmer on medium heat until the sauce thickens.
- Remove from the heat and whisk in the beaten egg yolks. Add the nutmeg and salt & pepper.
- Pour the béchamel sauce over the casserole, and sprinkle the remaining parmesan cheese. Bake in the oven at 350 degrees or 200 c. (For about 45 minutes or until it is a nice golden brown on top.)
- Remove from the oven and let cool, cut in squares and serve with some fresh parsley on top.
Step 2: Cook!
Pastichio is the perfect dish to cook for a dinner party. So, here’s a suggestion…why not invite a few friends over to your house one night and make a pastichio for everyone to eat! Or if you are not quite ready to share your cooking with other people then you can always make up a dish, cut it in to portions and eat it for breakfast, lunch and dinner for a few days. Pastichio always tastes better a day after it has been cooked.
Step 3: Take A Photo and Share It
Once your Pastichio is ready, take a photo of it! You might like to snap a few shots during the cooking process. If you are using a secret ingredient in your recipe then take a photo of that too. Be sure to share your photo on social media with the hash tags #greekcookingchallenge and #pastichio (or #pastitsio). You can share it on Instagram, Twitter or Facebook.
Or if you prefer to keep your pictures private, then send an email directly to Sia@greekweddingtraditions.com.
Step 4: Receive Your Gift
At the end of the month, the Greek Cooking Challenge subscribers will receive a pdf ebook of the pastichio recipe enhanced with all your comments, secrets and notes, all gathered together and garnished with your photos. By the end of the year, you will have the perfect ebook of Greek food recipes, with home made pictures and secrets form within the kitchen of our subscribers. This gift will only be sent to you if you officially join the Greek Cooking Challenge – so if you haven’t already, you can still Sign Up Now!
The Greek Cooking Challenge is all about Learning How To Be A Good Greek Cook.
Here on the blog, we can all help each other to learn how to be good Greek cooks together.
So don’t forget to share your thoughts throughout this Pastichio month, your cooking experiences, tips and recipe secrets. Share the things that have gone wrong or perfectly right with your recipe, so we can all learn form each other!
Good Luck Everyone!
Other Posts That You Might Love:
- How To Be A Good Greek Cook
- Greek Cooking Challenge Recipe 1: Vasilopita
- Greek Dinner Around the World
Sia Aristidou is fascinated by the rituals and traditions celebrated in Greek culture. She writes about love, marriage, family and tradition and sells beautiful handmade wedding gifts at the Greek Wedding Shop.
Connect with Sia on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Instagram or subscribe to the Greek Weddings & Traditions blog. If you want to learn more about Greek food and Greek cooking, then join the Greek Cooking Challenge.