Although hailing from Greece, this is like Lamb Moussaka with an Italian twist. The picture below just doesn’t do it justice unfortunately. If you’re a dab hand at the white sauce bit, your preping time should be minimal, but give yourself a few hours, including baking time, from start to finish.
450g rigatoni pasta
2 tbsp olive oil
900g ground lamb
1 onion, chopped
small handful of parsley, chopped
4-5 cloves of garlic, peeled & chopped
half tsp ground cinnamon
small glass of wine red
3 eggs, beaten
100g grated Parmesan
750ml white sauce (easy to follow recipe here)
Side salad (to serve)
Put the olive oil into a deep frying pan over a medium heat. Add the onion and garlic and fry until they begin to soften. Add the lamb and brown whilst breaking it up with a wooden spoon, and then throw in the parsley, cinnamon, tomato sauce and wine. Simmer for about 30 minutes.
Pre-heat the oven to 180 degrees C. In a separate pot, boil some water, add salt to season and cook the pasta until it is almost al dente little. Transfer to a large bowl. Add butter, eggs and half the Parmesan. Toss well. Prepare your white sauce.
Place half the pasta in the bottom of a large casserole dish. Top with the meat sauce, then place the remaining pasta on top and pour the white sauce over the top before sprinkling over the rest of the Parmesan. Bang in the oven to bake over almost an hour and the top is golden. Serve up with a simple salad.
The wine match
Pastitsio, like Moussaka, goes well with Sangiovese, a traditional Italian red grape variety. It’s got the big acidity we all love Italian wines for, and when enjoyed with food like this, it should work well with the richness of the sauces. Check out the Farnese Sangiovese and the Gregorina Sangiovese.
Staying with Italy, an earthy Barbera is worth considering. We’ve only had BBQ Barbera and Barbera da Vine for a few weeks now and they’re flying for us. If you’d prefer New World, the Squid’s Fist would be a super match also.