Posted for Zaar World Tour 2005. Have never eaten Pastitsio (a traditional Greek dish) before and was grateful to have found one I could eat. This looks like a great one-dish meal, and takes less time to make than you might expect. It's described as a great party dish, and leftovers can be reheated and eaten a day or two later. From Vegetarian Times Cooks Mediterranean. Have not tried this recipe yet. Update: Tried this the other night. It makes a lot of food, but leftovers are quite good! Mine didn't turn out too dry with 1 cup of tomato sauce, but do add more tomato sauce or fresh tomatoes if you wish.
Meat Substitute Mixture
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 large onion, minced
- 2 (14 ounce) packages vegetarian ground beef
- 1 1⁄2 cups tomato sauce, canned
- 1⁄2 cup dry red wine
- 1⁄2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1⁄8 teaspoon ground nutmeg or 1⁄8 teaspoon allspice
- salt & freshly ground black pepper, to taste
Pasta or Cheese mixture
- 1 lb ziti pasta or 1 lb elbow macaroni
- 5 cups milk
- 5 tablespoons cornstarch
- 1⁄4 cup water
- 1 cup freshly grated kefalotiri (separated) or 1 cup parmesan cheese (separated)
- 3 large eggs
- Preheat oven to 350 Fahrenheit.
- In large skillet, heat olive oil over medium-high heat. Add onion and cook, stirring, until golden brown, about 7 minutes.
- Add beef substitute, chopping into small bits. Cook until browned, about 5 minutes.
- Add tomato sauce, red wine and spice, stirring to mix.
- Simmer, uncovered, until the excess moisture has evaporated, about 7 minutes. Season with salt and pepper and set aside.
- Meanwhile, cook the pasta according to package directions, drain and set aside.
- In large saucepan, bring milk to a boil over high heat, then reduce heat to medium.
- Dissolve the cornstarch in water, then add to milk in a thin stream, whisking constantly to avoid lumps.
- Cook, whisking, until mixture has returned to a boil and is thickened, 2-3 minutes. Remove pan from heat and stir in 3/4 cup of the cheese.
- In separate bowl, beat eggs until light and very frothy. Add to cheese sauce in a thin stream, whisking constantly. Add salt and pepper to taste and combine with cooked pasta in a large bowl.
- Lightly oil an 11x15x2 inch casserole dish. Spoon in half the pasta/cheese mixture. Top with meat substitute mixture, then with remaining pasta/cheese mixture. Sprinkle with remaining 1/4 cup cheese.
- Bake until casserole is golden brown and bubbling, about 40 minutes. Let cool for a few minutes before slicing and serving.