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|ground beef, béchamel sauce|
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Pastitsio (Greek: παστίτσιο, pastítsio; [paˈstitsio]), sometimes spelled pastichio, is a Greek and Mediterranean baked pasta dish including ground beef and béchamel sauce in its best-known form. The Italian dish pasticcio di pasta is a version of pastitsio.
The typical Greek version has a bottom layer that is bucatini or other tubular pasta, with cheese and egg as a binder; a middle layer of ground beef or veal with tomato and cinnamon, nutmeg or allspice; another layer of pasta; and a top layer of sauce, varying from an egg-based custard to a flour-based Béchamel or a Béchamel with cheese (known as Mornay sauce in France). Grated cheese is often sprinkled on top. Pastitso is a common dish, and is often served as a main course, with a salad.
In Cyprus a similar dish is called "oven macaroni" (Greek: μακαρόνια του φούρνου, makarónia tou foúrnou; Turkish: makarna fırında). It is an essential dish during celebrations such as Easter, where it is served along with the spit roasted meat. Recipes vary, but usually the meat sauce in the middle is made of pork, tomatoes are only sometimes used, and it is flavored with mint and parsley. The top is sprinkled with grated halloumi cheese, though cheese is only sometimes added to the white sauce.
Macaroni Béchamel (Arabic: المكرونة البشاميل, al-makarūnah al-bashāmīl) is the Egyptian version. It is typically made with penne pasta, a layer of cooked spiced meat with onions, and Béchamel or Mornay sauce.
In Malta Timpana (the name probably derived from Timballo) is made by tossing parboiled macaroni in a tomato sauce containing a small amount of minced beef or corned beef, bound with a mix of raw egg and grated cheese. Hard-boiled eggs are sometimes added. The macaroni is then enclosed in pastry case or lid before being baked.
Name and origin
Pastitsio takes its name from the Italian pasticcio, a large family of baked savory pies which may be based on meat, fish, or pasta. Many Italian versions include a pastry crust, some include béchamel. The word pasticcio comes from pasta and means "pie", and has developed the figurative meanings of "a mess", "a tough situation", or a pastiche.
- Greek Mediterranean Cuisine
- Accademia Italiana della Cucina, La Cucina: The Regional Cooking of Italy, pp. 310–313
- Vincenzo Buonassisi gives 41 kinds in Il Nuovo Codice della Pasta, Rizzoli 1985; see also Touring Club Italiano, Guida all'Italia Gastronomica, 1984.
- Oxford Paravia Italian Dictionary, 2001, ISBN 0-19-860437-8
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