Category Archives: Pasta dishes

Pastitsio

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This is the Greek version of lasagne- a rather rich dish and definitely in the comfort food list.

Ingredients
250g macaroni
2 eggs lightly beaten
3/4 cup coarsely grated Parmesan
2 tbsp stale breadcrumbs

Meat Sauce
1 tbsp olive oil
2 medium brown onions, chopped finely
750g beef mince
400g can chopped tomatoes
1/3 cup tomato paste
1/2 cup beef stock
1/4 cup dry white wine
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1 egg beaten lightly

Topping
90g butter
1/2 cup plain flour
3 1/2 cups milk
1 cup coarsely grated Parmesan
2 egg yolks

Method

Preheat oven to moderate 160 deg C fan forced. Grease shallow 2.5 litre oven proof dish. Add pasta to a large saucepan of boiling water, boil, uncovered until just tender, drain.
Combine warm pasta, egg and cheese in a bowl and mix well. Press pasta over base of dish.
Make meat sauce. Make topping.
Top pasta evenly with meat sauce, pour over topping, smooth surface and sprinkle with breadcrumbs. Bake, uncovered, about 1 hour until browned lightly. Stand 10 minutes before serving.

Meat Sauce: Heat oil in a large saucepan, add onion; cook , stirring until beef is browned. Stir in undrained tomatoes, tomato paste, stock, wine and cinnamon; simmer, uncovered, until thick. Cool 10 minutes; stir in egg.

Topping: Melt butter in medium saucepan, add flour, stir over heat, until bubbling. Remove from heat, gradually stir in milk. Stir over heat until sauce boils and thickens; stir in cheese. Cool 5 minutes; stir in egg yolks.

 

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Spinach Lasagne

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Last week I seemed to visit recipes from decades past. I have only ever cooked lasagne once before and that was 25 years ago.  It was such a disastrous experience that I never revisited it. Part of the reason my also be that I have an aunt that makes a mean lasagne so it was always easier to request her to make one. Anyway I decided to put aside my lasagne fears and attempt the same recipe and was I glad that I gave this recipe another shot.  It produced a lasagne full of flavour. Surprisingly it was very easy to make, thanks to freshly made pasta sheets. I used pork mince for this and went a bit easy on the cheese but the flavour of this lasagne was simply delish.

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Ingredients

  • 1 packet fresh lasagne sheets OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
  • 250g packet frozen spinach
  • 2 tsp oil
  • 60g cheddar cheese
  • 3 tbsp grated parmesan cheese
  • 2 tsp oil extra

Meat Sauce

  • 500g mince steak or pork
  • 1 onion
  • 125g mushrooms sliced
  • 1 clove garlic
  • salt, pepper
  • 1/2 tsp oregano
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 2 x 400g cans crushed tomatoes

Cheese Sauce

  • 60g butter
  • 1/3 cup plain flour
  • salt, pepper
  • pinch nutmeg
  • 2 cups milk
  • 125g cheddar cheese
  • 3 tbsp grated parmesan cheese

Method

Meat Sauce

Peel and finely chop onion, slice mushrooms finely. Place meat in a heavy based, shallow pan and brown, breaking any clumps of meat with a fork. Drain off any excess fat. Add onions, crushed garlic and mushrooms, cook until onion is transparent. Season with salt and pepper, add oregano, sugar and the tomato. Bring to boil, reduce heat and simmer covered for 45 minutes. Uncover, simmer until sauce has thickened, approx 15 minutes.

Cheese Sauce

Melt butter in saucepan, add flour, salt, pepper and nutmeg, blend until smooth. Stir over heat for 1 minute, gradually add mil, stir until sauce boils and thickens, reduce heat, cook 1 minute. Remove from heat, stir in grated cheeses, stir until cheese melts.

Place lasagne sheets over base of shallow ovenproof dish – 28cm x 18cm is ideal.   Pasta may have to be trimmed so it lies flat in the dish.  Spread half the meat sauce over the pasta and than cover with half the cheese sauce. (Both sauces are easier to handle if made the day before and refrigerated). Press as much liquid as possible from thawed spinach, speed evenly over cheese sauce. Top with two more pieces of trimmed pasta, spread with remaining half of meat sauce then cheese sauce. Top with remaining pasta. Sprinkle top with grated cheese, bake in moderate oven 40 minutes or until top is golden brown.  Remove from oven, let stand 10 minutes before serving.

 

 

Traditional Bolognese

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Lately I have been in the mood to reminisce.  Here is another golden oldie. The first time I cooked a Bolognese was about 25 years ago. This is the recipe I used. The original recipe uses mince steak, but I use pork, lamb or steak and pork combined.

Ingredients
725 g mince steak or pork
1 large onion
2 tbsp oil
400g can peeled tomato
4 tbsp tomato paste
1 tsp basil
1 tsp oregano
1/2 tsp thyme
4 cups water
Salt,pepper
Grated Parmesan cheese

Method
Peel onion, chop finely. Cook in heated oil until onion is golden. Add mince, cook well, mashing with a fork to break up any lumps. Cook until mince browns well. Drain off any excess fat. Add tomatoes, herbs and tomato paste, water ,salt and pepper. 
When sauce comes to boil, reduce heat, cook very gently 1 1/2 to 2 hours, uncovered or until nearly all the liquid has evaporated.
Serve over spaghetti topped with grated Parmesan cheese.