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Sunday, May 22, 2011

How to make Pasticcio (Greek Lasagna)

There is the greatest Greek diner down near my husband's office that we eat at once every couple years.  (It's 40 miles away, the kids and I aren't near his office often!)  They have some of the most delicious food, and about 5 years ago I tried their Pasticcio, which is a Greek Lasagna.  OMG ~ it is divine.  They use macaroni, a little tomato sauce, cheese, and a heavenly Bechemel sauce.  It's to die for!!  This dish always reminds me of my college roommate and dear friend Yvette.  After college, she married a Lebanese man and moved to Greece - we used to talk about visiting Greece in college, and then she was lucky enough to live there!

Last month, when we went to The Georgia Renaissance Festival, we stopped at the diner on the way back home.  The Pasticcio called my name again (as did the Baklava, for dessert -mmmmmm!).  It was as good as always, and I've been craving it ever since!!

Yesterday, I started looking online at recipes, and this is the one I found.  It's very close to what we have at the diner.  I discovered that this is a PERFECT stockpile recipe for me!  Why? Because my stockpile has diced tomatoes (from the big Italian sale at Publix earlier this year), frozen ground turkey (Kroger), and parmesan-reggiano cheese (Publix).  Oh, and don't forget the pasta!! I have so much pasta in my stockpile right now!! (Publix).  So here's the recipe, and you'll see my notes in italics beside each ingredient that I tweaked....


1 lb penne (I used tri-color whole grain Penne pasta)
2 c finely grated parmesan
1 cup whole milk (I used skim)
2 large eggs


1 Tbs olive oil
1 Tbs  unsalted butter  (left out)
1 medium yellow onion (left out - used onion powder)
3 medium garlic cloves, thinly sliced (didn't have on hand, used garlic powder instead)
salt and pepper
1 lb lean ground turkey
1/2 lb ground pork  (used turkey instead)
28 oz can crushed tomatoes with juices (used petite diced tomatoes)
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon


Heat oven to 375, place rack in middle
Boil pasta according to directions.  Run drained pasta under cold water to cease cooking
For the sauce:
Heat the oil and butter in large frying pan over medium high heat.  When butter foams,  add the onion, garlic, salt and pepper to taste.  Cook, stirring occasionally until onions are soft and golden, about 5 minutes.   Add meat, break it up with a spoon.  Cook until browned, stir in tomatoes and cinnamon.  Season to taste again with salt and pepper.  Cook until slightly thickened, about 5 minutes more.  Remove from heat.

Butter a 2 1/2 - 3 quart baking dish.  Sprinkle 1/3 of cheese in bottom of pan, then 1/2 of the pasta.  Add all of the meat sauce, 1/3 cheese, remaining pasta, remaining cheese. 

In a small bowl, whisk milk and eggs together til combined.  Slowly pour over entire dish (Completely cover  noodles).   (This is kinda-sorta like the fancy bechamel sauce - not as wonderful as homemade, but still really good!)

Cover, bake until bubbly, about 45 minutes.  Uncover and bake until bubbling and browned, about 10 -15 minutes more.  Let sit for 10 minutes before serving. 

Delicious with bread and a tossed green salad!

The casserole before we cut into it...

and after we cut it!

 My pictures do not do this justice, it looks better than this and tastes incredible! : )


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