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How to prepare pasticho (Greek style lasagna)

Pasticcio (Greek-style lasagne)

NUTRITION: FOR 10 SERVINGS

CALORIES:  801KCALS
FAT:  41.5G (21.4G SATURATED)
PROTEIN:  41.6G
CARBOHYDRATES:  58G (13.9G SUGARS)
FIBRE:  5G
SALT:  0.6G

Ingredients

400g pasta tubes such as rigatoni
2 tbsp olive oil
100g ricotta salata dura (firm, dry ricotta, from Ocado), crumbled
Bunch fresh dill, chopped
6 tbsp mature cheddar, grated

For the meat sauce

800g lean British beef mince
200g lean outdoor-reared pork mince
4 tbsp olive oil, plus a splash extra
2 red onions, chopped
3 garlic cloves, crushed
1/2 tsp ground allspice
4 cloves, crushed
1 cinnamon stick
250ml red wine
2 tsp dried oregano
2 x 400g tins chopped tomatoes
Small bunch fresh flatleaf parsley, chopped

For the béchamel

1.75 litres whole milk
1 bay leaf
6 black peppercorns
200g unsalted butter
200g plain flour
1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
Large pinch cinnamon
75g ricotta salata dura
2 large free-range egg yolks

You’ll also need…

2 litre baking dish

Method

For the meat sauce: dry-fry all the mince in a large sauté pan, breaking it up with a wooden spoon until browned. Using a slotted spoon, transfer to a plate; set aside.
Add the 4 tbsp oil to the pan and fry the onions for 15 minutes or until softened. Stir in the garlic and cook for 2 minutes more, then stir in the spices and cook for a minute or so. Add the wine and let it bubble, then return the mince to the pan with the oregano, chopped tomatoes, a tomato tinful of water and salt and pepper. Bring to the boil, then reduce to a simmer and cook gently for 45-60 minutes.
Meanwhile, make the béchamel. Warm the milk in a pan with the bay leaf and peppercorns. Melt the butter in a separate large saucepan and stir in the flour. Cook, stirring, for 3-4 minutes. Off the heat, discard the aromatics, then whisk in the infused milk to make a smooth sauce. Add the spices and season with salt and pepper. Put back on the heat and cook, stirring with a wooden spoon, until thickened. Take off the heat, beat in the 75g ricotta and egg yolks, then set aside with cling film touching the surface (this prevents a skin forming).
Bring a large pan of salted water to the boil and cook the pasta until just tender but still with some bite (2 minutes less than the packet instructions). Once cooked, drain well and toss in the baking dish with the oil, 75g of the ricotta, the dill and some salt and pepper.
Heat the oven to 200°C/180°C fan/gas 6. When the meat sauce is ready, stir in the parsley and check the seasoning, then pour it on top of the pasta and smooth over to level. Pour over the béchamel and smooth the top. Sprinkle with the grated cheese and remaining ricotta, then bake for 40 minutes or until golden and bubbling.

delicious. tips

Assemble the pasticcio up to 48 hours ahead and keep covered in the fridge. You’ll need to add 15-20 minutes to the cooking time.

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