Baked Pasta with Chopmeat A.K.A Pastichio ( A Greek Dish )

You can’t get more Greek than this,well you can but just as a matter of saying. Waking up on Sunday,  the lingering scent of this beautiful dish just tickled our noses and instead of toast, we would say, is it ready ??? My mom being Greek, would always get up before anyone and prepare this beautiful dish, even if we went out to lunch she would still cook  therefore when we would come back from our outing we would have something to eat. She was just being Greek. Pastichio was not only a Sunday dish, it was a holiday dish, Christmas time, Birthdays, namedays, barbecues etc. Any  holiday would be accompanied by Pastichio. I learned to make it just like my mom and now I’m serving it from my table to yours. It takes about 3 hours to make but you will have it for two days, if it’s possible .

Let’s start wit the ingredients:

Red Sauce

2 pounds chopmeat

1 medium onion or three small ones

1 medium tomato

2 cloves of garlic

1 whole nutmeg or  1/2 teaspoon of ground nutmeg

4 whole cloves or 1/3 teaspoon of ground cloves

1/2  teaspoon of cinnamon

1/3 cup of olive oil

oregano, salt and pepper

2 tablespoons tomato paste

 

Pasta Pennes or if your have access to a Greek store ask for Special Pastichio Spaghetti I still prefer Penne Pasta

1 egg

2 tablespoons of Parmesan cheese

4 tablespoons of  butter

 

Cream or Pudding what ever wording you prefer

8 cups of milk

1 evaporated small can of milk

1 whole nutmeg or black pepper

2 whole egg

1 stick of sweet butter

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Let’s begin with the red sauce:

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Chop up your onions,tomato and garlic cloves. Place them in your skillet add your olive oil, ( if you like olive oil you can add more )  1/2 teaspoon of oregano and a dash of salt and pepper then saute for about 10 min. then add your chopmeat, saute for about 15 minutes or until brown. Cover chopmeat with water let cook for about 1 hour on high. Once it’s ready to thicken add your tomato paste, grind nutmeg, add whole cloves, cinnamon, salt and pepper to taste and a dash of oregano. When it’s ready set aside for later use.

Next we prepare our cream:

Place 8 cold cups of milk in a pot

for each cup we need 2 tablespoons of flour ( all purpose flour)

so 8 cups x 2 tablespoons = 16 tablespoons of flour

1 cup of milk should be the evaporated milk ( tastes a lot better)

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Before placing on stove add flower and stir very well with a whisk

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Once the flour has dissolved completely place on stove on high and keep stirring until it thickens into a cream, if the flour hasn’t dissolved completely before placing on stove it will crumble up into tiny balls and your cream will not come out good. Make sure it has dissolved completely !!!!  When the cream is read add the whole stick of butter and stir, then add a whole beaten egg and stir, then ( usually) I add at the tip of my teaspoon black pepper, if your prefer nutmeg you can grind nutmeg into your cream. Stir very well  and set aside.

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Your cream is ready when it can form a somewhat ball shape when placed in a plate I added red sauce so you can see what I mean.

Pasta time

Cook as per package add salt for taste while boiling

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I didn’t have Penne Pasta so I used these, they’re very  close

Once they are ready drain and place in a pot.

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Add 1/2 stick of regular butter

3 tablespoons of Parmesan cheese

1/2 teaspoon of butter

1 whole egg and mix all ingredients together.

 

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Now get your pan, make sure you butter your pan very well.

Add your first layer of pasta make sure you’re not able to see the bottom of the pan

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Then add your chopmeat sauce, don’t use it all set aside about 4 big salad spoons, this will be our topping when we serve the Pastichio.

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Then add your final layer of pasta

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Then your final layer, the cream

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When your are done, beat 1 egg and spread on top of your Pastichio this gives it color. Bake for 45 minutes  180 celsius or 350 Fahrenheit.

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This is how it should look when it’s ready. Before serving set aside for 1/2 hour or else you will not be able to cut proper pieces.

While this is cooling you make your sauce for the topping

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Take your leftover sauce place it in a small pot, add two cups of water,2 tablespoons of tomato paste, 1 tablespoon olive oil, cinnamon,cloves, oregano,salt and pepper to taste. Let it boil until it thickens, when it’s almost ready to thicken simmer it on medium heat. Place in a small bowl, when you are ready to serve your Pastichio. On top of your piece you can add a teaspoon of parmesan cheese. I prefer to grind with my fork Feta Cheese. I just love feta.

Another dish from my table to yours !! And by the way, if you have kids lots of licking and eating before everything goes into the dishwasher and sink !! 😉

One final tip and most important: When baking this dish, add a bigger pan with water, than the one your are baking with, in the oven, underneath the Pastichio, because it will drip therefore this way, the juice swill drip into the pan with water.

Enjoy this Sunday dish !!!!

 

 

 

 

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Minced meat and leeks pie

This recipe has been given to me by a very dear and close  friend of mine, I shouldn’t say friend,she’s more like family to me.  She  has moved to another country with her family and each time I prepare this dish, I recapture all the moments we shared together.  At times my eyes do get watery but I hold back because I know her life is a lot better now .  I thank her and dedicate this post to her.

The ingredients for this dish are :

2 – 3 big leeks

1 pound chop meat

1 medium onion

1 medium tomato

2 garlic cloves

salt and pepper to taste

and if you like ( nutmeg and cloves ) a pinch of each

1 box of pastry puff ( phyllo) ( preferably the thin sheets )  if not use the regular pastry puff

1/3 cup of olive oil

1-2 tablespoons of butter

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061  068                                                                                                                                                    Once you have chopped up all ingredients you place them in the skillet you add 1/3 cup of olive oil

and saute for about 10 minutes then you add your minced meat add 1/2  a teaspoon of oregano and saute until meat is brown.

When meat is brown cover and cook for about 30 minutes, regular heat.

072  073                                                                                                                                                   It is cooked when it starts to thicken,when ready set aside and let it cool for about 15 min.

Butter your  pan so the pastry puff ( phyllo ) will not stick to the bottom.

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The phyllo package should have. about 10 -12 sheets of phyllo. You separate them in half the half that you will not use you will cover them with a towel so they will not dry and brake. Each phyllo that you place in your pan you will have to brush each one with butter before you lay one on to of the other.089   104

Once you have placed all the phyllo sheets in your pan add the meat. Then cover the pan with the remaining phyllo sheets. In some of your pans the phyllo sheet hangs too much over the pan. Cut it but not too much so you can roll a little bit into a crust as shown above. To create the crust,you turn the phyllo inward and slowly turning the pan and slowly your crust will form. Before placing the pie  in the oven dash some olive oil for color.

Cook for 30 – 45 minutes at 350 Fahrenheit

When you finish with your pie you will have leftover bits of phyllo. This is what I do, I place it in aluminum foil, I add honey, sprinkle with sugar and cinnamon and bake for about 15 minutes and you will have a nice cruncy sweet. My kids,hubby and I go crazy for this quick phyllo sweet. Nothing goes to waste !

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Another dish from my table to yours. If you have any questions feel free to contact me

 

Pork Chops

Add water

Add water, Once you add the water you let them cook f or about half an hour. When pork chops are brown then you pour the wine over them and let them sizzle, if you don’t have wine you can substitute vinegar instead of half a cup you use 1/3 cup. 

2nd step

2nd step

You will need 4 pork chops, 2 red peppers , 1 medium sized onion
Salt,pepper,oregano, 8 tablepoons of olive oil and 1/2 cup of white wine

Pork chops & red peppers

Pork chops & red peppers

After you cut peppers and onions, you place pork chops in a skillet and add ingredients on top.
Peppers,onions,1/2 teaspoon oregano,1/2 teaspoon salt & pepper and you saute for about 10 minutes.

Carbonara – A family favorite

Sun washed beaches, emerald waters and eating  a plate of Carbonara in Paleocastritsa, ahh the carefree days of summer ’94. I present to you my family’s favorite dish and a picture of this magical place, my father’s hometown, where I learned how to cook Carbonara !  I feel so young when I prepare this dish and I have my cousin to thank for. My family’s favorite and I’m sure if you love pasta you will love this dish !! From my table to yours.

Serenity !

Serenity !

Paradise !

Paradise !

The ingredients you will need :

skillet

wooden ladle

1 pound of spaghetti ( Linguine could also be used )

1 regular sized onion

1 whole egg

2 1/2 pints of creamed milk

butter for saute

10 slices of ham

10 slices of bacon

4 0z of sliced mushrooms ( fresh ones coould be used but have to be cleaned and sauted )

2 tablespoons of Parmesan cheese

Salt & pepper to taste

 

Diced onions and butter

First dice onions and place in skillet with 1 tablespoon of butter

 

Saute for about 5 minutes

Diced onions in skillet,saute for 5 minutes

 

Diced bacon

Dice the bacon  add in skillet saute for another five minutes.

All in skillet

Cut 10 slices of ham in cubes and add in skillet, add mushrooms saute with butter for another 10 minutes

 

! whole egg once everything sauted

While on stove add one whole egg and stir everything together until egg is cooked thoroughly.

Almost ready

If you would like you could add extra butter.

Finished

Now it’s ready add salt and pepper to taste.

Spaghetti and all ingredients

Have your  spaghetti boiled, drained and ready in a separate  pot add  all ingredients stir well, sprinkle 2 tablespoons of  Parmesan cheese , pour your creamed milk, salt and pepper to taste stir very well  and serve.   It’s really easy to make takes about 30 minutes and serves  about  6 people. As we say in Greek, KALE OREXI -meaning have a god appetite 🙂

 

Carbonara - A family favorite