We have already posted the recipe for Pastichio - one of people's favourite Greek dishes - here. This is a recipe for the vegetarian version. Whether you're a vegetarian or not, I think you'll find this dish delicious. It has a wonderful sauce!
½ kg pasta size 10(hollow pasta)
½ kg eggplants cut into small cubes
250g button mushrooms chopped
2 large onions roughly grated
1 or 2 hot red peppers chopped
250g tomatoes roughly grated
1 tsp tomato paste
Bunch of fresh basil chopped
200ml sunflower oil
2 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp olive oil (for the pasta)
¼ tsp ground nutmeg
Salt to taste
For the Béchamel
1 litre fresh milk
1 cup all-purpose flour
150g grated parmesan cheese
Put the eggplant cubes in a bowl in enough salty water to cover them. Cover with a plate and set aside for an hour.
Put the sunflower oil in a large frying pan and when it’s very hot add the mushrooms.
When they have turned a golden colour, remove with a draining spoon and place on kitchen paper to absorb the oil.
Place half of the eggplant cubes in the oil and when they turn a golden colour, remove with a draining spoon and place on kitchen paper to absorb the oil. Repeat with the remaining eggplant cubes. (We don’t put them all in together as this could reduce the temperature of the oil)
Remove the sunflower oil, clean the pan and add the 2 tbsp olive oil in its place.
When the oil is hot, add the onions and chopped red peppers and stir for 2-3 minutes.
Add the tomatoes and the tomato paste along with 60ml water and stir for about 10 minutes until most of the water has been absorbed.
Add the mushrooms and eggplants and bring to the boil for about 2-3 minutes.
Add the basil, remove from the heat and set aside.
Put the pasta in a pan with plenty of boiling water, along with the 1 tsp of olive oil.
When the pasta is ready, drain it and put it in a large bowl along with the butter and nutmeg.
In a heavy-bottomed pan gently heat the butter until it melts.
Add the flour and stir continuously.
Add half of the milk and continue to stir with a whisk.
When the mixture starts to thicken, add the rest of the milk whilst stirring continuously.
When it starts to thicken again, lower the temperature to the minimum and add the grated cheese.
Add 2 large spoonfuls of béchamel to the pasta and mix in.
In a large oven dish (approx. 35cm long and 5cm deep) place half of the pasta in a layer to cover the bottom of the dish.
Spread all of the sauce on top of this layer.
Place the remaining pasta in a layer on top of this.
Spread the béchamel on top.
Place in a preheated oven at 180 degrees Celsius for approx. 45 minutes until it turns golden brown.
When you remove from the oven, leave for about an hour before cutting into portions so that it is firmer.
Eat and Enjoy!