Love in the Kitchen - making fast, healthy, homegrown meals you'll enjoy

Sunday, January 06, 2013

Pastitsio (Greek-style Lasagna)

Following along on my Greek-themed recipes, this is a Greek-style Lasagna.  It's a bit like pastitsio, a pasta, lamb and bechamel layered dish, but for this version, I didn't use any meat and used a ricotta cheese mixture instead of bechamel.  Delicious!


Pastitsio 

Ingredients:
  • 2  tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1  onion, finely chopped
  • 1  teaspoon dried oregano, crumbled
  • 3/4  teaspoon cinnamon
  • Pinch of ground cloves
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 3  cups marinara sauce
  • 1  pound ziti or penne
  • 3  cups fresh ricotta (1 1/2 pounds)
  • 4  large egg yolks
  • 1/2  teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 3/4  cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese



Directions:

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. In a large saucepan, heat the olive oil until shimmering. Add the onion, oregano, cinnamon, cloves and a generous pinch each of salt and pepper. Cook over high heat, stirring frequently, until liquid has evaporated, about 8 minutes. Add the marinara sauce and bring to a boil. Boil over high heat, stirring occasionally, until the sauce has reduced slightly, about 5 minutes.

2. Cook the pasta until barely al dente; drain and return to the pot. Meanwhile, in a blender, blend 2 cups of the ricotta with the yolks, nutmeg and 1/2 cup of the Parmigiano-Reggiano until smooth. Season with salt and pepper. Pulse in the remaining ricotta.

3. Add the sauce to the pasta and toss. Transfer the pasta to a 9-by-13-inch baking dish. Pour the ricotta mixture on top and sprinkle with the remaining 1/4 cup of Parmigiano-Reggiano. Bake in the center of the oven for about 20 minutes, until heated through. Turn the broiler on and broil until the top is golden brown. Let stand for a few minutes before serving.


Really a very simple and tasty dish.  If you'd like a meaty dish, add 2 pounds of ground lamb to step one.  That makes a phenomenal sauce and adds a wonderful depth of flavor to your meal.

Would you try this sort of blend of Greek Pastitsio and Italian Lasagna?




Zentmrs
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