Pasticcio Macaronia

Pasticcio Macaronia

Pasticcio Macaroni has its own historic background. Romans employed Greek cooks, who helped give birth to Italian cuisine, which was then transported to France by Catherine de Medici, bride of the French king. Yes, one of this dishes used to be even Pasticcio Macaroni.  It’s all about Greek food. Of course Greek were the best bakers of imperial Rome and perhaps their influence filtered into Italian and French cooking.

Pasticcio is one of the greatest comfort foods. It is a wonderful dish to cook, basically little more than a rich meat sauce baked with macaroni and a cheese bechamel. Greeks in general, when they mention meat they mean specifically lamb, but a healthier version can be with minced turkey. It is a worth reminding advice that of simmering the filling until it is nice and thick. Ever heard about kefalotiri? It would be perfect if you use Greek kefalotiri when cooking:

Pasticio Macaronia

For 8 serves you will need:

  • 450g macaroni
  • 1 heaped tablespoon salt
  • 2 heaped tablespoons butter
  • 1 cup grated cheese

 

For the filling:

  • 1 heaped tablespoon butter
  • 900g minced meat
  • 1 small onion, chopped finely
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • Chopped parsley
  • 1/2 cup white wine
  • 2-3 medium sized tomatoes, peeled and diced, or 1 can tomatoes
  • 2 egg whites

 

For the sauce:

  • 100g butter
  • 75g flour
  • 4 cups hot milk
  • Salt and pepper
  • Nutmeg (optional)
  • 1 cup grated cheese
  • 2 eggs and 2 egg yolks

Method of cooking

For the filling: heat the butter in a large frying pan and saute the minced meat and onion until slightly browned. Add remaining ingredients, except egg whites, cover and cook over a medium heat; allow to cool and egg whites.
To make the sauce: melt butter in a heavy saucepan, add the flour and cook stirring constantly for 1 minute. Add the milk all at once, and stir until the sauce is smooth. Add salt, pepper and nutmeg. Remove from heat and stir in the cheese, eggs and egg yolks.
Cook the macaroni in salted boiling water until soft but firm. Drain and return to the pan. Add the butter.
Butter the baking pan and put in half the macaroni. Sprinkle with cheese and cover with the meat filling. Sprinkle with cheese and cover with the sauce. Sprinkle top with the rest of the cheese and cook in a moderate oven for about 45 minutes or until golden brown. Leave for 20 minutes then cut into squares and serve.

Source: The 125 Best Recipes Ever 

Picture from: Delicious Magazine

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