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Vegetarian pastitsio

Vegetarian pastitsio

By Lisa Stanton (www.greekvegetarian.blogspot.com.au)


Ingredients (serves 8-10):
3 tablespoons olive oil
2 large onions, finely chopped
3 cups of finely chopped broccoli (or any other vegetable/s)
1/4 cup dry white wine
2 bay leaves
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon of sugar
2 cans peeled, chopped tomatoes
2 tablespoons tomato paste
salt and pepper to taste
1 packet (500g) Misko pastitsio pasta or bucatini pasta (thick spaghetti-like tube pasta)

For the béchamel sauce:
60g margarine butter
60g plain flour
1 litre of soy milk
2 eggs (lightly beaten) – you can use flaxseed instead if you wish
1/2 cup grated soy cheese
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
salt and pepper to taste
1/4 cup sharp cheese to cover béchamel


  1. Heat oil and fry onions in a large pot over low heat for 15 minutes. Add broccoli and continue to fry for another 15 minutes, until the vegetables are softened and lightly browned.
  2. Add wine and turn heat up to medium. Cook, stirring for around a minute, until most of the wine has evaporated.
  3. Add bay leaves, cinnamon, oregano, sugar, tomatoes, tomato paste and salt and pepper to taste and stir. Bring to the boil then turn heat down to low and allow to simmer, uncovered, for at least 45 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  4. Meanwhile, prepare the béchamel. Melt butter in a medium saucepan. Add the flour and mix well, stirring quickly. Cook while stirring for around 1 minute until the mixture is beginning to froth a little, then remove from heat.
  5. Add around a quarter of a cup of milk, stirring quickly to incorporate. The mixture will thicken and lumpify a little but trust me, it will smooth out. Immediately add a little more milk, stirring quickly and constantly, ensuring the mixture is combined properly before adding more milk. Keep adding milk and stirring until all the milk is incorporated.
  6. Put the saucepan back on medium heat, stirring constantly until it thickens, around 10 minutes. Remove from heat. Using a whisk, quickly stir in the vegan cheese, flaxseed, nutmeg, salt and pepper. Cover until ready to use.
  7. Bring a large pot of water to the boil and add pasta. Cook for 10 minutes only – it should only be partially cooked. Drain and rinse under cold water so that the pasta is cool enough to handle. Lay half the cooked pasta in the bottom of a deep baking dish (around 35cm x 25cm and 6-7cm deep). If using pastitsio pasta, it is traditional to lay the noodles side by side so they are parallel to one another. This way when the pastitsio is cut, the pasta ‘holes’ are all facing the same way.
  8. Spread a few tablespoons of béchamel sauce over the pasta then pour the tomato sauce evenly over the pasta. Lay the rest of the pasta over the tomato sauce, then the rest of the béchamel, and top with grated sharp cheese.
  9. Bake in a preheated oven set to 180°C for around 45 minutes, or until the top is lightly golden.

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