I like using cottage cheese in my baked pastas because it's relatively light and melts easily. You can also use more bechamel sauce to layer the pasta instead.
Pastitsio (Greek "Lasagna")
For an 9-by-14-inch pan, you'll need:
12 oz package bucatini, penne, or any other tubular pasta
1 lb ground beef
1 large onion, diced
1 28-oz can diced tomatoes
1 16-oz container small curd cottage cheese
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 tsp salt
1 tsp ground black pepper
1 tsp ground nutmeg
1 tsp dried oregano
Make the bechamel sauce and set aside.
Bucatini is a long tubular pasta, sometimes called long macaroni. Lightly boil it to soften, but don't fully cook it. The pasta will continue cooking when it's baked so you don't want it to become too soggy. Drain and set aside.
Dice and saute 1 large onion.
When the onions have softened, add 1 lb. ground beef, 1 tsp salt, 1 tsp ground black pepper, and 1 tsp dried oregano.
When the beef is mostly done, add 1 28-oz can diced tomatoes and stir.
In a separate bowl, add 1 16-oz container small curd cottage cheese, 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese, and 2 eggs. Mix thoroughly and set aside.
Pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees.
Time to assemble the pastitsio. Below from left there's the bowl of cheese, ground beef and tomatoes, bechamel sauce, and bucatini.
I start with a light layer of mostly sauce with some beef and tomatoes to keep the pasta from sticking to the pan.
I make two layers so divide everything in half. I like to layer the bucatini in a row, although you don't have to be so precise if you don't want to.
Spoon half of the meat and tomato mixture on top.
Then add half of the cottage cheese mixture on top of that.
Add the rest of the bucatini.
And the rest of the beef and tomato sauce.
And the rest of the cottage cheese mixture.
Then pour all of the bechamel sauce on top.
Sprinkle some more nutmeg on top. Love that nutmeg!
Bake for at least half an hour to 45 minutes.
This was the pastitsio fresh and warm from the oven.
Serve with a Greek Salad.
Who else made pastitsio?
Peter of Kalofagas added allspice and a pinch of cinnamon to his Bolognese sauce.
I'm submitting this recipe to Regional Recipes, a food blogging event created by Darlene of Blazing Hot Wok, in which a different culture and cuisine is explored each month. Please read the Regional Recipe rules to see if you'd like to participate. The host of the inaugural event is Darlene herself and she chose to spotlight Greece. I'm next month's host so I hope you participate!
And since Regional Recipes is about celebrating the region, did you read my posts about Greece?
Agios Georgios, Corfu Town, and Vidos Island, Corfu - Greece
Glass Bottom Boat, Corfu - Greece
Gaios, Paxos Island - Greece
Parga - Greece
1 year ago today, Roasted Potatoes with Rosemary and Duck Fat.
2 years ago today, the first dragonfruits from my garden.