Monday, March 7, 2011

Italian Week: Day 2 - Pasticcio

Benvenuto! Today poses as day two of our International tour of Italian food. Today, I'm bringing to the table a sort of meat and pasta dish. It's called pasticcio. The term was coined in the 16th century as just that: a meat and pasta pie. The main area that uses this name for this dish is Cyprus. It is very similar to lasagna. Now, let's grab our aprons, oven mits, and chef's hats and let's get cooking!


You will need:

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, chopped finely
  • 2 cups fresh ground lamb
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1.25 (1 and 1/4) cups chicken stock
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 4 ounces dried, short-cut macaroni
  • 2 beefsteak tomatoes, sliced
  • 1.25 (1 and 1/4) cup strained plain yogurt
  • 2 eggs, beaten lightly
Ready? Let's go!

  1. Preheat your oven to 375 degrees.
  2. Heat the olive oil in a large heavy-bottom skillet. Add the onion and the garlic, stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes or until softened.
  3. Add the lamb and cook, breaking it up with a wooden spoon until completely browned.
  4. Next, add your tomato paste and sprinkle in the flour. Cook, stirring for 1 minute, then stir in the chicken stock.
  5. Season to taste with salt and pepper and stir in the cinnamon. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat, cover, and cook for 25 minutes.
  6. Meanwhile, bring a large heavy-bottom pan of slightly salted water to a boil.
  7. Add the pasta, return to a boil, and cook for 8 to 10 minutes or until the pasta is Al-Dente*
  8. Spoon in the lamb mixture into a large casserole dish and arrange the tomato slices on top.
  9. Drain the pasta and transfer to a bowl. Add the yogurt and eggs and mix well.
  10. Spoon the pasta mixture on top of the lamb and bake for 1 hour.
  11. Serve!
NOTE: This dish can also be made with ground turkey or chicken
*When referring to Al-Dente, please note other pasta related blogs from previous dates

So, we have tackled another great and new Italian dish. I can only hope that you all come back and join me for more Italy week. It's going to be chock full of delicious and surprising dishes that may or may not intrigue you. I might even throw in an Italian dessert recipe, or we might keep that for dessert week... Who knows? For now, caio and have a great evening!