Pastitsio/Makaronia Tou Fournou
(Greek Cypriot Pasta Bake)
I love the holiday season, especially gathering friends and family around my table to celebrate. With hosting large crowds, I am always looking to create recipes that can be made in advance and are just as delicious served hot or cold. So......what happens when two cultures collide, something beautiful and delicious. This holiday season, I have teamed up with Italpasta to create a stress-free and delicious meal to help you serve a crowd for your holiday entertaining! Pastitsio is a traditional Greek Cypriot dish, similar to an Italian style pasta bake but made with a creamy béchamel sauce. Spiced with cinnamon and nutmeg, it makes for a perfect holiday dish.
Why Italpasta? It is extremely versatile and easy to dress-up to impress your guests. It's the only 100% Canadian-owned pasta manufacturer in Canada and only uses the finest 100% Canadian wheat for all their pasta. With their gluten-free and vegan options, they make it easy to satisfy all your guest's palettes. I have shared my family recipe with all of you, using Italpasta's Tradizionale (Scoobi Do). This dish can be made a day in advance and also delicious served at room temperature. Paired with a simple green salad, makes for a winning holiday meal!!
Happy Cooking and Holidays to you and your loved ones!!
3 tbsp olive oil
1 medium cooking onion, small diced
2 large garlic cloves, minced
2 tbsp tomato paste
400 g lean ground beef
400 g ground pork
1/4 cup dry white wine
1 cup canned diced tomatoes
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp Salt
1 tsp fresh ground pepper
1 cup Italian flat leaf parsley, finely chopped
7 tbsp unsalted butter
7 tbsp all-purpose flour
1 L whole milk
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
1/2 cup halloumi cheese, grated + 1/4 cup grated
1 tbsp breadcrumbs
3 large egg yolks, at room temperature, beaten
375 g Italapasta Tradizionale (Scoobi Do)
2 tbsp olive oil
2 large eggs
1/2 cup halloumi cheese grated
2 tbsp Italian flat leaf parsley
Heat oil in a large deep pan over medium heat. Add onions and sauté for 4-5 minutes until soft and slightly golden. Add garlic and sauté for an additional 1-2 minutes until soft and translucent. Add tomato paste and cook for 4- 5 minutes until heated through, stirring occasionally. Add beef and pork and cook until browned, 5-6 minutes. Add wine and continue cooking until evaporated, about 2 -3 minutes. Add tomatoes, cinnamon, salt and pepper and cook until thickened, 4-5 minutes. Stir in parsley and set aside.
To make béchamel, melt butter in a medium pot over medium heat. Add flour and whisk until thick and smooth, about 1 minute. Add milk a cup at a time while continuing to whisk until thick an creamy. Whisk in nutmeg and add in halloumi cheese, continuing to whisk until halloumi has melted. Remove from heat and stir in breadcrumbs. Let cool for 5 minutes and whisk in egg yolks.
Preheat oven t0 375 F.
Cook pasta al dente, about 5-6 minutes as you don't want to over cook it as it will also bake in the oven. Drain and toss with olive oil. Add eggs, halloumi and parsley and toss well to mix. Spread pasta evenly on the bottom of a 10x10 0r 9x12 baking dish. Stir in a 1/4 cup of the béchamel sauce into the meat mixture and spread it evenly on top of the pasta. Pour béchamel sauce over meat mixture and spread it evenly and smooth. Sprinkle the 1/3 cup of grated halloumi on top and bake in the preheated oven for 45-50 minutes until top of béchamel sauce is deep golden. Remove from oven and let set for 15-20 minutes before cutting.
SERVINGS 8-10 | PREP & COOK TIME 1.5 hours