Traditionally, this recipe is called “Pastitsio” here in Greece, and it is made with minced meat. In this recipe we will replace meat with mushrooms. Use any kind of mushrooms you like; just chop them finely.
If you want this recipe to be completely vegetarian, then skip the egg yolks from the bechamel. It will probably be a little less “fluffy” but you will love it anyway!
2 pounds (about 1 kilo) spaghetti-like pasta
1 red onion
2 cups of chopped mushrooms
1 bay leaf
1 tsp spearmint
1/2 cup red wine
1 cup olive oil
Salt and pepper
For the bechamel sauce
1 cup flour
1 cup butter (you can replace it with olive oil if you like)
4 cups warm milk
2 egg yolks
1 cup grated parmesan
Salt and pepper
1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
Directions: Chop the onion. Wash the tomatoes and the mushrooms and cut them into small pieces. In a sauce pan, saute the onion with half of the olive oil. Add the mushrooms and cook for 3-4 minutes. Add the wine and stir. Add the tomatoes, the bay leaf, the spearmint, salt and pepper and 1 glass of water.
Cover, lower the heat, and let it simmer while you do the rest.
Boil the macaroni, strain and rinse with cold water. Oil the baking pan with the rest of the olive oil and put the macaroni in it. Spread them and be carefull not to stick with each other.
The bechamel sauce:
In a cooking pot, add the butter, over low heat. When it melts, start adding the flour gradually while you stir continuously to prevent lumping. However, if it happens don’t worry; you can save it. Just keep stirring. Add the warm milk; never stop stirring. Add the egg yolks as you stir and.. stir. Remove from heat, add the nutmeg, salt and pepper, the cheese and mix well. Set aside.
Spread the red sauce over the macaroni in the baking pan. Then, pour the bechamel and spread it with a spoon to go everywhere. Sprinkle some cheese above it and bake in preheated oven (at 180 C/ 356F) for 1 hour.