This is a variation of the classic Pastitsio with notable differences being the pasta used, and that is why I call it MAKARONAKI KOFTO PASTITSIO, the choice of cheeses and the herbs/aromatics.
Traditional savoury Halloumi along with a creamy and nutty Cheddar transform the Bechamel to a level of its own and not only. Not only as the grated Halloumi and Cheddar are also found all along the Pastitsio, being on the pasta, on the minced meat and in between.
Dry mint accentuates the Cypriot Halloumi flavour while the All-Spice and Cinnamon relate to the Greek DNA of the Pastitsio.
If you are counting calories then you might as well stay away from this recipe, otherwise ENJOY!
Makaronaki Kofto Pastitsio
Have a look below at the full recipe. Don’t forget, you can always print it.
I hope you enjoy it!
Just in case you would like to have a look at my other Pasta Recipes!
|Prep Time||30 Minutes|
|Cook Time||80 Minutes|
|Passive Time||20 Minutes|
For the Minced meat:
- Place a deep sauté pan over medium heat. Pour the 4 tablespoons of oil and add the onions, sauté for 5-7 minutes until they become translucent.
- Add the minced meat, increase the heat and with a wooden spatula brake down the minced meat and continue sauteing until all the meat has been sautéed and a bit browned. Stir in the tomato paste, parsley, all-spice and season with the salt and pepper. Give it a good stir, cook for 5 minutes, turn off the heat and keep aside.
- In a large pot bring water to a boil on high heat adding the 2 tablespoons of salt. Add the pasta, stirring occasionally so as not to stick and cook 1 minute less than package instructions. Strain and keep aside in a bowl while pouring a bit of olive oil over them to keep them from drying.
- In the meantime, grate the Halloumi and Cheddar cheeses, and mix with the dry mint.
- In a medium pot boil the milk on low heat. Keep aside.
- In a medium non-stick saucepan over low-medium heat add the butter, whisk, and once melted and frothed start adding the flour and keep on whisking to be just enough thick, as a nice roux. Continue whisking and cooking until the roux gets a bit of a golden colour and smells like biscuits.
- At this point start adding the warm milk, 2 ladles at a time and keep on whisking vigorously. When you achieve a nice, not too much runny cream, probably just after the last ladle of milk has been added, remove from the heat and add the whisked eggs while whisking. Return the roux to the heat, bring to just a bit of a boil and add the cinnamon, almost half of the grated cheeses and stir to mix until smooth.
- Preheat the oven to the 185 degrees C, air circulation, rack in the middle.
- Take a medium deep (6-7 cm) non-stick oven dish and lightly brush with butter, add half the pasta and sprinkle about 1/3 of the remaining grated cheeses. Add the minced meat on the pasta and with a wooden spoon spread evenly, pressing lightly. Sprinkle with the 1/3 of the remaining grated cheeses and top-up with the rest of the pasta. Now sprinkle with half of the remaining grated cheeses.
- Add on top the Béchamel cream, spreading all over the cream towards the edges of the dish and use a spatula to smooth. Finally sprinkle the remaining grated cheeses and bake for 40 minutes and until the top becomes golden brown.
- Take out of the oven and let rest for 20 minutes. Cut in ‘adorable’ squares and serve!