I am really enjoying the Rerun of Rick Steins Mediterranean Escapes on Food TV and I have already blogged a delicious pasta, a couple of weeks ago
Now it is The Turn of the Greek. This pasta dish is so reminiscent of Lasagne, but the difference is the spices used in the meat sauce.
It’s lovely, bubbly, cheesy comfort food. Perfect for a cold winters day.
What I like about this meat sauce is the addition of the spices
I made it for ‘Thursday at Grandmas’ and all of the kids including the Grandfather loved it.
Rick used a Greek Cheese called Kefalotyri which is a hard sheep or goats cheese
I haven’t seen it here so I used a mixture of Feta and Parmesan, I guess you could use Percorino
This will feed 4 people
There are 3 stages
Béchamel sauce and
In fact if you can make double the recipe of the Meat Sauce and stick it in the freezer for future use.
500 gms minced beef
1 tablespoon olive oil
Sea salt and pepper
1 onion finely chopped
2 clove garlic peeled and minced
1 stick celery finely sliced
Glass red wine
1 can tomatoes
2 tablespoon tomato puree
1 tsp ground cinnamon
_ tsp ground Cloves
1 tablespoon dried Oregano
Heat the olive oil in a pan and brown the meat
Season with S & P
When brown remove from pan and
Add onions and garlic sauté till soft
Add celery sauté another minute or two
Add meat back into pan
Deglaze with wine
Reduce a little
Add tomatoes, Tomato puree, cinnamon, cloves and oregano
Rinse the tomato tin half full and add the water to the mix
3 tablespoon butter
3 tablespoon plain flour
3 cups milk
1 small onion peeled and studded with whole cloves
1 bay leaf
Freshly grated nutmeg
300 gms Penne (or similar)
1 cup grated Cheese
2 eggs beaten
To make the Béchamel
Infuse the milk with onion studded with cloves, peppercorns and bay leaf
You need to make a roux
Melt butter in a heavy bottomed pan
Add flour mix well and cook for a few minutes to get rid of any raw flour taste.
Strain the milk
Add to roux and with a whisk beat well
Heat stirring all the time till it comes to the boil
Simmer for about 4-5 minutes
Season to taste with Sea salt, Freshly ground black pepper and a good grate of nutmeg
Meanwhile cook pasta to manufacturers instructions
Mix in 1/2 cup cheese and 1/3 of the béchamel
Mix well then add the 2 beaten egg mix.
Now time to assemble
Grease your gratin dish with olive oil
Layer half of the pasta mix, covering the bottom well
Then the meat sauce
Top with remainder of Pasta
Press down till flat
Cover with reserved Béchamel
Grated cheese on top
Leave for at least 10 minutes before serving
This makes it easier to serve.
Lidia Basianich says she likes to leave baked Pasta dishes for at least an hour.
But who can wait that long.
This is a winner.