Sunday, 2 February 2014


We tried something new in the kitchen with a vegetarian pastitsio (Pastizio)--sort of the Greek equivalent of a lasagne or macaroni casserole. It was pretty fun to prepare and tasted very good.

For four servings, you will need:

  • Approximately 360 grams (13 ounces) of macaroni noodles 
  • 200 millilitres (7 fluid ounces) of soy-based cream or milk 
  • 200 grams (7 ounces) of sour cream (Schmand) 
  • 200 grams (7 ounces) of tofu as the base for the bolognese sauce—one could also substitute ground beef
  • A 200 gram (7 ounce) lump of fresh mozzarella
  • 1 cube of vegetable stock
  • 1 medium onion
  • 1 carrot
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 200 grams (7 ounces) of tomato puree (passierte Tomaten, sonst Tomatenmark)
  • 2 tablespoons of olive oil
  • Oregano, thyme, basil, salt, pepper, red pepper power and cinnamon to season

Bring to boil the noodles in water with a bit of salt and then drain and set aside—about four minutes and not thoroughly cooked. Preheat the oven to 220ºC (425ºF).

For the filling (where the metaphorical meaning of pastiche comes from and you can try your own mix of ingredients), finely chop up the carrot, onion and garlic in a food-processor and fry in olive oil and then puree about four tomatoes (or use puree from a can) and add that and the tofu to the pan.
Introduce the bullion cube and season with salt, pepper, oregano, thyme and basil. Allow the sauce to continue to cook until it really thickens up. Transfer the bolognese and noodles to a large casserole dish and mix together while pouring in the cream or milk. Next spread the top of the dish with a thick layer of the sour cream.
Tear the lump of mozzarella into large, flat pieces and cover the surface and season with the red chili power and a bit of salt and pepper. Lastly, sprinkle the entire surface liberally with cinnamon. Bake for around 45 minutes. The cinnamon seems like an unusual ingredient but really enhances the medley of tastes and no one notices the meatless bolognese.