Vegetarian Pastitsio

Hellooooo Pastitsio!
I’m not going to lie… I was worried I would miss this dish with all it meatless flavour.  Turns out the meatless version is sensational. These are words of my Mum – and she’s the best cook ever, so if she says it… it’s true!

Ingredients
2 packets of Quorn mince
1 box of Barilla penne
1 large Carrot, grated
1 large Zucchini, grated
1 Red Capsicum, diced
8 Button Mushrooms, diced
1 Onion, finely diced
2 Tins of Tomatoes – crushed
½ Cup tomato paste
½ Cup parmesan cheese
Dried oregano – approximately 1 Tbsp
Allspice – approximately 1 Tbsp
Smoked paprika – approximately 1 Tbsp
Olive oil
Salt & Pepper

For the béchamel sauce:
50 Grams of Butter
2/3 Cup Self Raising Flour
1 liter of milk
½ Cup Parmesan cheese
2 Eggs
Salt & Pepper

Method:
Cook the pasta according to package directions; drain. Toss with butter; add grated Parmesan cheese. Transfer to a greased lasagna baking dish.
Preheat oven to180 degrees fan. In a large skillet, add some olive oil and cook the onions until then are tender. Add in the Quorn, allow to warm through and separate the pieces with a potato masher so that the mince is fine. Add in the spices and the salt & pepper. Add in all the chopped vegetables. Start with the vegetables that will take longer to cool (mushrooms, capsicum) adding the carrot and zucchini last. Cook until the vegetables are al dente.

Stir in the tin tomatoes, tomato paste and ½ cup of water. Stir to combine and lower the heat to as simmer. Cook until the sauce thickens. This is the time to taste. Quorn needs a lot more flavor added to it then if you were making this with traditional mince. Taste and adjust as required. If your tomatoes were acidic you may need to add a pinch of sugar. Spoon over pasta.
In a large saucepan, melt butter. Stir in flour, salt and pepper until smooth; gradually add milk. Bring to a boil; cook and stir 1-2 minutes or until thickened and well combined. If you are finding the sauce is bumpy, you can add a little more butter to smooth it out.
In a small bowl, whisk a small amount of hot mixture into eggs; return all to pan, whisking constantly. Bring to a gentle boil; cook and stir 2 minutes. Pour over Quorn mixture. Sprinkle with remaining cheese.
Put the dish in the oven and bake for approximately 30-45 minutes. As all the ingredients are cooked, you are waiting for the dish to form a golden brown baked top.

Tip:
Whisk constantly when adding milk to the roux (the flour and butter mixture). The whisk will help break up any lumps of flour so your sauce is silky smooth.

Give this a go – you truly don’t notice the lack of meat. So flavoursome, so delicious.
Kali Orexi ??

 

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