- Cooking Time: 1h15 minutes
- Servings: 6
- Preparation Time: 15 minutes
BackstoryI found this recipe in an English magazine called Delicious., in their May 2009, Italian Special issue. I thought it was a nice twist to the good ‘ol Pastistio my mom was baking while I was growing up. Ingredients are originally in metric, so the empirical quantities are approximates.
Here’s the magazine’s commentary: "Pasticcio is sort of a macaroni lasagne that originates from Greece. It can be quite time-consuming but this is a short-cut version that substitutes the béchamel sauce for a melting mixture of mascarpone and Parmesan. Make double the quantity of the meat sauce and freeze half, then it’ll be really simple to make the dish again another day."
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1 onion, finely chopped
- 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
- 4 rashers streaky bacon, chopped
- 500g / 1 lb lean beef mince (ground beef)
- 150ml / approx. 1 cup Marsala or Madeira
- 2 x 400g / 8 oz cans chopped tomatoes
- 1 tsp dried oregano
- 500g / 1 lb pack macaroni or other short pasta
- 2 x 250g / ½ lb tubs mascarpone
- 50g / about 3 tbsp grated Parmesan
- Heat the olive oil in a pan and cook the onion, garlic and bacon for 5 minutes. Add the beef mince, stirring with a wooden spoon to break it up, and cook for 3 minutes more. Pour in the Marsala or Madeira and bubble rapidly for 2-3 minutes, then stir in the chopped tomatoes, oregano and some salt and pepper, and simmer gently for 30-40 minutes.
- Preheat the oven to 190°C / 375°F / gas mark 5. Cook the macaroni in a large pan of boiling, salted water for 10 minutes until just about cooked but still firm in the centre. Drain well, then return to the pan.
- Tip half the pasta into the meat sauce, season well and mix together, then turn out into a large ovenproof dish or individual dishes. Stir the mascarpone and Parmesan into the remaining pasta in with 100ml / 3.4 fl oz boiling water from the kettle, stirring until the melted mascarpone coats the pasta.
- Spoon the mascarpone-coated pasta into the dish(es). Bake for 20 minutes until the pasta is golden on top.
- If making ahead, cool completely, the wrap well in cling film and freeze for up to 2 months. Defrost before reheating at 190°C / 375°F / gas mark 5 for 25 minutes until piping hot - cover with kitchen foil if it’s browning too much.