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Pastitsio ala Italian and Rome Snapshots

Pastitsio ala Italian and Rome Snapshots

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Pastitsio ala Italian is a twist I made to the classic Greek dish, substituting some of the traditional ingredients we use in Greece with Italian ones.

What is Pastitsio ala Italian?

Pastitsio is a traditional Greek dish that consists of layers of pasta and a ground meat filling, typically made with veal or pork mince, mixed with spices and herbs.

Italian style Pastitsio Baked image

The pasta and meat are baked together in a casserole dish, and the dish is typically topped with a creamy white sauce made from béchamel and eggs.

The final product is a savory, hearty, and comforting dish that is often served as a main course for lunch or dinner.

It is a popular dish in Greece and Cyprus, which is enjoyed by people of all ages.

Pastitsio is typically served with boiled leafy greens or a salad, and it can also be accompanied by some feta cheese.

What does Pastitsio ala Italian mean?

Ala or “À la” is a French phrase that means “in the style of” or “according to the manner of.” It is used to indicate that something is being prepared or served in a particular way or style.

Our trip to Rome

It’s almost a week since we came back from our trip to Italy and I was really busy to post, as a lot of things had to be done after we returned.

We had a great time and I wanted to share some of the shots from Rome. This was not an easy job having to choose from about 1.000 photos.

When we returned, I made Pastitsio, but this time I made a twist to the traditional Greek recipe, using a sauce, similar to Bolognaise sauce, with ground chicken, ziti pasta and of course used some of the Italian cheese we bought.

Italian cheese

Collage Italian cheese image

I used the cacciocavallo cheese, by sprinkling some on the pasta before adding the meat sauce, some in the bechamel and of course some on top.  It was delicious!

Pastitsio ala Italian image

Before going to the recipe, I would like to share some of the pictures I took.

Collage Rome The Vatican image

The Tiber River

Collage Rome The Tiber river

Fountains: Fontana di Trevi, Piazza di Navone, Barberini (Tritone), Spanish Steps

Collage Rome fountains image

Statues and monuments

Collage Rome statues image

One of the extremely enjoyable benefits of blogging is getting to meet other bloggers whose work I respect.

We met Natalia, of Gatti, fili e Farina and her husband Andrea and had a great time together.

Natalia showed us around in the Vatican on one day and another day she showed us around from Piazza di Venezia towards the Ghetto (Jewish neighbourhood), Galeria Spada, Piazza di Fiori, where she helped me choose some cheeses (buffalo mozarella, caccio, gorgonzola picante and another one with peppers, I am not sure about the name. 

We ended in a pub serving forty different kinds of draught beer and some delicious appetizers.

 

Collage Rome with Natalia image

Rome: a tour in the Jewish Ghetto of Rome

collage Rome Ghetto image

You probably all know that Rome is the city of architecture with so many beautiful buildings, fountains, piazzas etc.

We visited most of the important monuments but there is still more to see, so we will have an excuse for another trip in the future.

The Vatican

Rome art in the Vatican image

Art

Rome  Art image

The Italian people were fantastic and all the people we asked for instructions were more than willing to give explanations and very polite.

I have seen a lot of similarities between Greeks and Italians and it is no wonder that Italians and Greeks have a saying “Una Faccia Una Razza”, in Greek we pronounce it “Una fatsa una razza” and literally, it means “one face one race” and refers to similarities to our culture, history and manners.

What can I say about the food and wine. Everything was delicious, especially the pasta dishes and I enjoyed a glass of chianti with every meal.

The Pantheon

Collage Rome pantheon image

The Colosseum

Collage Rome Colosseum image

Campo de Fiori

Collage Campo di Fiori image

Italian food

Rome food image

I could not resist trying the gelato with so many flavour to choose from and some tiramisu!!

Pastitsio ala Italian or Italian style Pastitsio cut image

Pastitsio ala Italian

Yield: 8
Prep Time: 50 minutes
Cook Time: 45 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 35 minutes

Pastitsio ala Italian is a twist I made to the classic Greek dish, substituting some of the traditional ingredients we use in Greece with Italian ones.

Ingredients

  • 1 packet (500 grams) ziti pasta or other tubular pasta
  • 1 cup caccio cavallo cheese, grated

For the meat sauce!

  • 500 grams minced chicken
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1/4 cup celery, finely chopped
  • 1 cup white dry wine
  • 500 grams tomato passata
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 3 carrots, grated
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 small bay leaf

For the Bechamel sauce:

  • 1.5 litres milk
  • 60 grams extra virgin olive oil (or butter)
  • 60 grams all-purpose flour
  • 3 eggs
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 cup of grated caccio cavallo cheese (the remaining mixed in the pasta and some sprinkled on top)

Instructions

  1. Boil the pasta al dente.   Drain pasta and mix with some of the cheese.
  2. In a large skillet heat the oil and sauté the onion, until translucent.  Add the garlic and cook for a few seconds
  3. Add the minced meat and sauté until white. 
  4. Add the celery and carrot and mix.
  5. Add the wine and stir until the alcohol evaporates and
    then add the tomato and tomato paste and stir until smooth.
  6. Add remaining ingredients and bring to slow simmer.
  7. Cook for about 45 minutes, until the sauce is thick. Remove the bay leaf.
  8. Put half the pasta in a baking tin (about 33 x 40 cm.) and mix in 3 tablespoons of béchamel sauce.
  9. Spread the sauce on top of the pasta.
  10. Add the remaining pasta on top and cover with the béchamel sauce and the remaining caccio.
  11. Top with Béchamel Sauce. See step by step recipe how to make the béchamel here.
  12. Bake in a preheated oven at 180 degrees C until golden brown on top.
Nutrition Information
Yield 8 Serving Size 1
Amount Per Serving Calories 641Total Fat 39gSaturated Fat 13gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 23gCholesterol 174mgSodium 646mgCarbohydrates 33gFiber 3gSugar 14gProtein 34g

"These values are automatically calculated and offered for guidance only. Their accuracy is not guaranteed."

Did you make this recipe?

Tried this recipe? Tag me @ivyliac and use the hashtag #kopiaste!

Other relevant recipes:

Pastitsio the Greek way
Pastitsio Lasagna

Makaronia tou Fournou (Pastitsio the Cypriot way

Pastitsio Lasagna with artichokes

Spaghetti Pastitsio with Anthotyro and Paprika

Vegan Pastitsio

collage Pastitsio ala Italian image

Kopiaste and Kali Orexi!

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Dmitri

Friday 16th of December 2016

What a great post! We Romans need more people like you, who will not only travel, but also describe their experience in this wonderful city rich in history and traditions. And you are absolutely right Italians and Greeks have lots in common, mostly because the Romans always wanted to be like the Greeks. The food here is delicious just like the Greek food and fusion cuisine is becoming more and more popular, so mixing Greek and Italian cuisines is mixing the best of two worlds. Thank you.

Ivy

Friday 16th of December 2016

Thank you Dmitri. Your site is also wonderful.

Alberghi a Roma

Saturday 6th of February 2016

Its nice

Earnestine Coltrin

Sunday 24th of January 2016

hi this is a nifty website that you've, thank you 4 sharing it with us.

Jess and Brandon

Friday 30th of January 2015

Amazing post. Beautiful pictures, and the food.. hmmm looks yummy and delicious.

The Leftover Queen

Monday 30th of November 2009

I really enjoyed reading about your trip to Rome! Brings back such memories!!! I miss the gelato more than anything else! :)

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