Pasta is always a huge hit in our house as was this dish. Pronounced Pa'sti-tsi-o it's a greek baked pasta dish, layered like Lasagna. Starting with a bottom layer of pasta (normally a tube pasta) mixed with egg and cheese, the second layer is a tomato meat sauce, a third layer of another pasta and then topped with a custard like sauce instead of a bechamel. Grated cheese and at times breadcrumbs are sprinkled on top to form a crust.
Of course I have adapted this recipe to reduce it's fat content and point count. I did use the basic bechamel sauce but added egg to it to give it the custardy consistency. I only used one layer of pasta also. But it was still full of flavour, filling and as usual devoured by one and all.
Points per serve: 6
1 onion, diced
2 teaspoons crushed garlic
500 grams lean lamb mince
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1/2 cup red wine
1/2 cup water
1 teaspoon beef stock powder
2 tablespoons oregano
3 bay leaves
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1 400gram tin diced tomatoes
2 carrots, peeled and grated
200g button mushrooms, finely sliced
freshly ground black pepper
250 grams penne pasta
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1 tablespoon fat reduced butter
2 tablespoons plain flour
2 cups skim milk
1 egg, lightly beaten
2 egg whites, lightly beaten
60 grams grated tasty cheese
30 grams parmesan cheese, finely grated
2 tablespoons breadcrumbs
Coat a large frying pan with cooking spray. Add onions and garlic, cook over a medium heat for 5 - 10 minutes or until onions are soft and golden. Add mince and cook until browned, breaking up the clumps whilst cooking. Add the tomato paste, mix well to combine and cook for a further 5 minutes.
Add the wine, water, stock powder, oregano, bay leaves, nutmeg, tomatoes, carrots and mushrooms. Stir well and simmer for 15 - 20 minutes until juice has thickened. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
Preheat oven to 180 degrees Celsius.
Spray a large lasagne or baking dish with cooking spray.
Meanwhile bring a large saucepan of salted water to the boil, add pasta and cook as per packet directions. Drain well. Allow to cool for 5 minutes and mix through beaten egg. Place pasta mixture into lasagne dish and press down to ensure base of the dish is completely covered and the pasta layer is even.
Remove bay leaves from the meat sauce. Place meat sauce evenly over the pasta layer.
In a small saucepan over a low heat melt butter and stir through flour. Gradually add milk ensuring a smooth sauce with every addition. Bring to the boil and simmer until slightly thickened. Remove from heat and add remaining egg and egg whites, stirring well. Spread evenly over meat. Sprinkle with combined cheeses and breadcrumbs.
Cook for 30 - 40 minutes or until heated through and top golden.
Allow to stand for 10 - 15 minutes prior to serving.