The theme for this month's global cooking challenge, hosted by Chris at Cooking Around the World, is Greece. I'd already made these prawn enchiladas with feta cheese, which is a rather tenuous link to Greece perhaps, so I wanted to see if I could think of something else. Then I remembered a dish that I've made before, but not for a long time; it's easy to make and good for this time of year. Pastitsio, or Pasticcio, is a Greek pasta bake that has a layer of minced beef, a bechamel sauce and pasta on top.
I found a recipe online and adapted it to suit ingredients I had and also gave it a healthier spin by using fat free Greek yoghurt instead of cheese in the sauce.
1 onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, crushed
500g beef mince
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1 beef stock cube
400g tin chopped tomatoes
1 tbsp. dried oregano
400g pasta - macaroni or penne
50g ricotta cheese
200ml fat free Greek yogurt
50g grated parmesan
grated cheese to sprinkle on top (optional)
First fry the onion and the mince in the Fry Light until browned. Meanwhile cook the pasta in a pan of boiling salted water and preheat the oven to 180C.
Add the garlic, cinnamon, stock cube, tin of tomatoes and oregano to the beef and simmer until the sauce has thickened.
In a small bowl, mix the ricotta, parmesan and Greek yogurt then carefully stir in the milk.
Drain the cooked pasta and stir in the cheese sauce.
Transfer the mince to a large ovenproof casserole dish.
Spoon the pasta on top and sprinkle with cheese.
Bake for 20-25 minutes until the cheese has melted.
Serve with green vegetables - this makes a great lunch or dinner.
I'm sending this to Chris at Cooking Around the World for his Greek challenge this month.