Pastitsio is a traditional Greek baked pasta dish, and Greece’s answer to lasagna. The key differences are lamb mince instead of beef and the use of tubular pasta as opposed to sheets. Helen’s hearty gluten-free version is made using gluten-free penne and is wonderfully comforting on a cold winter’s day. Serve with a Greek salad when entertaining friends to showcase a traditional dish that captures the heart of the Greek kitchen. Serves 6.
300g gluten-free penne pasta
3 tbs olive oil
1 onion, finely diced
2 cloves garlic, chopped
500g lamb mince
1 tsp dried oregano
1 tbs rosemary, chopped
2 x 400g tin crushed tomato
2 tbs tomato paste
Pinch of grated nutmeg
Sea salt and cracked pepper to season
100g gluten free plain flour
800mL full cream milk
100g cheddar cheese
100g parmigiana reggiano
1 beaten egg
Pinch of cinnamon
*1. Cook pasta according to packet instructions, toss in olive oil, set aside.
*2. Heat olive oil in a medium sized pot, add onion and garlic and sauté until soft.
*3. Add mince, oregano, rosemary and brown.
*4. Add crushed tomato, tomato paste cinnamon quill and nutmeg and simmer on low heat for 1 hour. Season with salt and pepper.
*5. For the béchamel melt butter over low heat in a saucepan and stir in flour until a smooth paste is formed.
*6. Slowly pouring in milk stirring simultaneously. Keep stirring until a thick consistency is achieved.
*7. Remove from heat and whisk in both cheeses, beaten egg and pinch of cinnamon. Season to taste.
*8. To assemble pastitsio oil a rectangular casserole dish. Place pasta into dish and pour meat sauce on top. Stir to combine and add extra kefalogaveria cheese. Top with béchamel sauce.
*9. Bake in preheated oven at 200C for 40 minutes or until golden.