Greek Baked Pasta (Pasticcio)
Not the more traditional Pasticcio with a ground meat and tomato sauce layer. Never-the-less delicious. Our friend Anna from Greece gave me this recipe. She says she prefers it to the richer traditional Pasticcio. I love them both.
freshly grated nutmeg
freshly ground white pepper
grated kefalotiri or parmesan cheese
penne pasta, greek macaroni or farfelle
ham, diced (optional)
Melt 4 tablespoons butter in saucepan and whisk in the flour. When the flour is completely incorporated, gradually pour in milk, whisking constantly. Keep whisking until the milk comes to a boil, simmer for a couple of minutes, then remove from heat.
Stir in the nutmeg, salt and pepper to taste and 1/3 of the cheese. Let sauce cool until warm, then stir in the beaten egg yolks. Set aside.
Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add salt and pasta and cook for 2 minutes less that the package instructions say. You want the pasta very al dente, as it will continue cooking in the oven.
Preheat oven to 375-degrees. Grease a 9"x13" baking dish with a little butter.
Drain pasta and toss with remaining 2 tablespoons butter. Spread half the pasta in the bottom of the baking dish, pour half the bechamel over it, and sprinkle with half of the remaining cheese. If adding ham add a layer of diced ham now.
Cover with the rest of the pasta and pour remainder of bechamel, distributing it evenly. Sprinkle with the rest of the cheese. Bake in the middle of the oven for 20-30 minutes, or until golden brown. Serve warm or at room temperature with a crisp green salad.