Pastitso (Baked Maraconi Greek Style)

I have a lovely cookbook called Mum’s Favourite Recipes compiled by Bill Tikos.  It is a different edition to this one.  I don’t make many things out of it, I really need to make a pact with myself to make more recipes from all of my gazillions of recipe books, I have an addition to them.  Anyway, from this gorgeous book I make 4 recipes regularly and one of them is Pastitso.  I have a couple of recipes for this dish in other places, but this is the one I like the most.  I  add a tsp of cinnamon to the meat.

This makes a really big meal.

Meat Sauce:  1 onion finely chopped, 1tblsp olive oil, 1tblsp butter, 500g minced beef (I actually use a bit less) 1 x 400g tin of tomatoes, 1 tblsp tomato paste, 1/2 tsp oregano (I use a bit more), salt and pepper.

Bechamel sauce:  150g butter, 125g plain flour, 5 cups of milk, 2 egg yolks, salt and pepper.

And you need 500g macaroni or penne, 1/4 – 1/2 cup Parmesan – cheapskates use a mix of parmesan and tasty cheese.

First make the meat sauce – in the usual way.  I add 1 tsp of cinnamon.  Then make the Bechamel – I do it in the microwave.  At the same time cook the pasta when done mix in the Parmesan.

Assemble it by putting half the cooked pasta in a greased lasagna or rectangular dish, top with meat sauce and then put in the rest of the pasta.  Pour the sauce over the top, throw the rest of the Parmesan over the top and bake in the oven for 45 min.  You end up with a lovely baked pasta dish that you can serve in big slices with a green salad.  Yum!

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