Never tried Pastitsio? Now might be just the time to try. This syn free pastitsio tastes amazing and is a great family meal.
I first came across pastitsio while watching a cooking programme on tv. I just knew I had to come up with a Slimming World version which was just as amazing and delicious.
Pastitsio is a Mediterranean type pasta dish normally made with ground lamb and a béchamel sauce, but of course with extra lean ground lamb being quite hard to source (unless you make your own), I decided to make my own adaption using extra lean ground beef and a low fat topping using fat free cottage cheese and eggs.
This is such a show stopping meal when placed out on the table to be sliced and served up and great served with a side of mediterranean type vegetables of your choice or a mixed salad. I like to serve this with roasted zucchini, bell peppers and onion.
You can also make a vegetarian version of this is you use a meat substitute or lentils instead of the ground meat an to keep this gluten free, choose a gluten free pasta (I like brown rice pasta, as it is the closest in taste and texture to regular pasta).
I like to bake in a large rectangular oven proof ceramic dish like the one below:
However, you can use an shape oven dish you have.
Extra Easy - ½ HEa per serving
Green - ½ HEa per serving
WW Smart Points - 11
- 450g (1lb) of extra lean beef mince (or vegetarian meat substitute or lentils)
- 1 large onion, finely chopped
- 2 cloves of garlic crushed
- 2 tablespoons of tomato paste
- 1 cup (240ml) of passata
- 1 cup (240ml) of beef or vegetable sock
- 400g (14oz) tin of chopped tomatoes
- 1 tbs of balsamic vinegar
- 2 teaspoons of oregano
- ½ teaspoon of cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon of sumac (optional)
- 300g (10.5oz) of Mezzani Zagliati pasta or other pasta tubes of choice (can use gluten free pasta)
- 4 eggs
- 90g (3oz) of Parmesan (3xHEa’s)
- salt and black pepper
- pinch of nutmeg
- Spray oil
- 2 cups (480 ml) of fat free cottage cheese
- Spray a skillet over a medium high heat with some spray oil. Add the onion and garlic and fry to soften.
- Add the beef mince and break up large lumps with the back of a wooden spoon.
- Once browned, add the tomato paste, splash of balsamic vinegar, oregano, sumac, cinnamon and a little salt and black pepper and stir to evenly coat.
- Add in the passata, beef stock and chopped tomatoes, bring to a boil and then reduce heat, cover and simmer until sauce reduces down and thickens (approx 20 mins)
- Preheat oven to 200c or 400f (gas mark 6)
- In the meantime add the pasta to a saucepan of boiling hot water and cook until al dente. Drain thoroughly, then add to a large bowl and mix in 2 eggs and 1 HEa serving of Parmesan.
- In a separate bowl, add the cottage cheese, pinch of nutmeg, some salt and black pepper, the other 2 eggs and use a hand blender to blend until smooth. (or you can add it all to a conventional blender)
- Now you can start to make up the pastitsio. Using a square deep oven dish, add a layer of half the pasta mix, then top with the meat sauce, then the other half of the pasta and then top with the rest of the meat mixture.
- Pour over the top the cottage cheese mix and spread out evenly over the top with a spatula.
- Top with the remaining 2 HEa servings of parmesan and place in the oven and bake for approx. 30mins. Pastitsio should be a light golden colour on top.
- Serve with a salad or your choice of side vegetables.
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