What’s Cooking

John Gregory-Smith ON Jun 18, 2009 AT 3:59 pm

John Gregory-Smith

John Gregory-Smith

Our regular food columnist John Gregory-Smith founder of The Mighty Spice Company (www.mightyspice.com) gives us a healthy recipe.

Pasticcio
This is a fantastic Greek pasta dish similar to lasagne. I have to admit that I have never eaten this in Greece but my friend Nick makes an amazing version and here it is!

Ingredients:
Server 4-6

For the mince 
• 1 large carrot, finely chopped
• 1 onion, finely chopped
• 1 clove garlic, finely chopped

Add 1 finely chopped onion

Add 1 finely chopped onion

• 250g lamb mince
• 1 glass white wine
• 400g tinned tomatoes
• 2 tablespoons tomato puree
• 1 stick cinnamon
• 2 bay leaves
• 1 teaspoon honey, ideally Greek
• 1 tablespoon olive oil
• 250g macaroni

For the béchamel
• 50g parmesan
• 40g flour
• 40g butter
• 1 pint milk

Pasticcio

Pasticcio

For the topping:
• Large handful of parsley, finely chopped
• 100g Greek feta

Method
1. Heat the oil in a large saucepan and fry the onion, carrot and garlic until soft.
2. Add the lamb, wine, tinned tomatoes, tomato puree, honey, cinnamon and bay leaves and mix well. Bring to the boil, reduce the heat and cook slowly for an hour until the sauce has reduced to a thick consistency, stirring occasionally. Season with salt and pepper and set aside.
3. In another pan melt the butter on a low heat, add the flour and stir to a smooth paste. Add the milk a little at a time stirring continuously until it has all been used. Season with salt and fresh nutmeg and cook on a low heat for 10 minutes, whisking occasionally. Add half the parmesan and remove from the heat.
4. Cook the macaroni in a large pan of boiling salted water, as directed on the packet, until al dente.
5. Mix the macaroni with the lamb and layer the mixture with the béchamel sauce in a deep suitably sized oven proof dish, you should get 2 layers of each. Sprinkle the rest of the parmesan over the top of the dish and bake for 30 minutes in a hot oven (180°c)
6. Crumble the feta in your hands with the chopped parsley and scatter over the finished dish.

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