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Greek Pastitsio

Servings 8 people

Ingredients

For ground meat

  • 500 gr ground beef
  • 4 tbsp virgin olive oil
  • 2 onions, finely chopped
  • 1 clove of garlic, minced
  • 400 gr tomato sauce or chopped tomatoes
  • salt
  • fresh ground pepper
  • ½ bunch of parsley, finely chopped

For béchamel sauce

  • 100 gr butter
  • 100 gr all-purpose flour
  • 1 liter milk
  • salt
  • fresh ground pepper
  • 3 egg yolks
  • 100 gr feta cheese, crumbled

For pasta

  • 300 gr long ziti pasta
  • 3 egg whites
  • 200 gr feta cheese, crumbled
  • 30 ml virgin olive oil

Instructions

For the pasta

  1. Add the pasta to a pot full of boiled water and boil 2 minutes less than the instructions on the box. 

  2. Brush a baking pan (35x25 cm) with olive oil. When the pasta is ready, drain and spread in the baking pan. Add the 3 egg whithes, lightly beaten, crumbled feta cheese, salt and pepper. Mix and set aside.

For ground meat

  1. Place a pan over high heat. Add olive oil, the finely chopped onions and sauté for 3-4 minutes, until the onions caramelize nicely. Add the garlic and continue to sauté.

  2. Add the ground meat. Break it up with a wooden spoon and brown for 4-5 minutes. 

  3. Add the tomatoe sauce, salt and fresh ground pepper.

  4. Turn the heat down to low and simmer for 10-20 minutes, until the sauce reduces and the ground meat is cooked.

  5. When ready, remove from heat, add parsley and set aside until needed.

For the béchamel sauce

  1. Heat the butter in a pot over medium heat. As soon as it melts (do not let it burn), add the flour. Beat with a hand whisk and sauté the flour for a few minutes.

  2. Add the milk, in small batches, whisking continuously so that no lumps form in the mixture.

  3. The mixture will be quite thick at first. You need to be persistent and patient. As you add more and more of the milk, you will see how the béchamel sauce will start to become nice and creamy.

  4. When the béchamel sauce starts to thicken, you have to be very careful not to let it burn on the bottom. Whisk continuously.

  5. When ready, remove from heat and add salt and pepper. Whisk in order to reduce temperature.

  6. At the end add the 3 egg yolks and whisk to incorporate.

For making Greek pastitsio

  1. Preheat oven to 180* C Fan.

  2. On the baking containing pasta add the ground meat and spread evenly. 

  3. Pour the béchamel sauce over the ground meat and sprinkle with crumbled feta cheese.

  4. Bake for 40 minutes or until the béchamel turns golden brown.