Pastitsio ★★★★★1 review

Delicious traditional baked pasta dish with a juicy vegan mince and creamy béchamel sauce, a classic in Greek cuisine!

INGREDIENTS

For the vegan mince:

  • 120 g textured vegetable protein (TVP) (about 300 – 330 g soaked)
  • 1 onion
  • 1 clove of garlic
  • 1 carrot
  • 1/3 cup vegan red wine (dry)
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1/4 tsp Cloves
  • 1 pinch of allspice
  • 1/4 tsp sweet paprika
  • 1/4 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1 tsp oregano
  • 1 pinch of cumin
  • 250 ml tomato sauce
  • 375 ml of water
  • 2 tsp Vegeta (vegetable stock powder)
  • Black pepper
  • 1 tsp molasses

For the béchamel sauce:

  • 60 g vegan butter
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 3.5 tbsp flour
  • 500 ml cashew milk or mixed almond milk with oat milk
  • 3/4 tsp salt
  • 1 pinch of nutmeg
  • White pepper
  • 2 tbsp nutritional yeast
  • 70 g grated vegan yellow cheese

Additional ingredients:

  • 250 g spaghetti for pastitsio (eg: Misko macaroni pastitsio No2)
  • 1/2 tbsp salt
  • A little olive oil
  • 50 g grated vegan cheddar cheese
  • 30 g vegan white cheese

 

METHOD

For the vegan mince:

  1. Prepare the TVP according to the instructions on the package (I soak it for 10 minutes in vegetable broth). After soaking, drain it very well to remove almost all the liquid.
  2. Finely chop the onion, carrot and garlic. In a large pan add a little sesame oil. Once the oil is hot, add the rehydrated TVP and sauté for about 5 minutes (until it browns). Add a little olive oil, then the onion and carrot. Sauté until they turn brown (about 15 minutes). Stir constantly. Add the garlic and sauté for another 2 minutes.
  3. Add the wine, stir and as soon as the alcohol evaporates, add the cinnamon stick, bay leaves and all the spices. Mix very well.
  4. Add the tomato sauce, plus 250 ml of water. Mix well and add the veggies, pepper and molasses. Stir and cover to get to a boil (5-10 minutes).
  5. Once the vegan mince is ready, add another 125 ml of water and stir (we want the vegan mince to be juicy). Taste and adjust the salt if necessary. Remove from the heat.

For the spaghetti:

  1. Prepare the spaghetti. Boil the water, add 1/2 tbsp salt and pour in the spaghetti. Once they are al dente, take them off the heat and strain them. Add a little olive oil to the pot so that they do not stick.

For the béchamel sauce:

  1. Place a saucepan over medium heat. Pour in the butter. Once melted, add the olive oil. Stir and gradually add the flour, stirring constantly. Sauté the flour for about 5 minutes. Once it changes slightly in colour (it will become a little darker) add the milk, stirring constantly.
  2. Add salt, nutmeg and pepper. Continue to stir. Once thickened it is ready. Add the nutritional yeast and the yellow cheese, and mix.

Assembly:

  1. Preheat the oven to 180C.
  2. In a Pyrex (27 x 19 cm) add the spaghetti, yellow and white cheese, and mix. Add the vegan mince on top, spread it well, and then add the béchamel sauce. Spread it on top with a spatula and transfer the Pyrex to the oven.
  3. Bake for about 25 minutes or until the béchamel has a colour on top.
  4. Remove the Pyrex from the oven and ideally leave the pastitsio to cool for 30-45 minutes.

NOTES:

– If you do not want to use Vegeta you can replace it with 1 tsp of salt.

– The vegan mince needs to be juicy so that it “runs” into the pasta and does not come out dry.

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Guest Blogger Konstantinos – Beets Me

Konstantinos is the owner and creator of the vegan food blog Beets Me. He started cooking at the very young age of 9. And though at first he followed a career at art and design his passion for cooking won him over. After going vegan back in 2008, he began experimenting with all the new ingredients he was learning about at the time and started working on new recipes or trying to veganize traditional Greek recipes. See all recipes by Konstantinos

Leave a Rating or Comment

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  • Silvia ★★★★★
    26 August 2021

    Ohhhh the flavour!! I may have been hungry and didn’t wait for it to cool, so the plating was a hot mess but it was so yum I don’t regret it.