Vegetarian Pastitsio – Baked Greek Style Lasagna With Cauliflower And Peas Ragu & Cheese Sauce (Egg-free Recipe)
A Vegetarian Greek baked Lasagna casserole made of layers of tubular pasta, vegetable ragu, topped with a nutmeg flavoured Mornay sauce with Gruyere cheese.
Servings Prep Time
6serving 45minutes
Cook Time
2hours
Servings Prep Time
6serving 45minutes
Cook Time
2hours
Ingredients
For the Vegetable-Red Sauce Layer:
For the Mornay Sauce Layer:
For the Topping:
Instructions
  1. Heat oil in a pan and add the onions and the garlic. Saute till the onions till they’re soft and then add the cauliflower florets and the peas. Pan fry till the vegetables are cooked and the cauliflower starts caramelizing/ turning light brown. If you’re using the wine, add it now and let it cook for a few minutes till most of it has evaporated.
  2. Now add the bay leaf, allspice, oregano the tomatoes, tomato paste, sugar, salt and pepper. Stir well and bring the Vegetable Ragu to a boil. Turn down the heat and let it simmer until it is quite thick in consistency and there’s a little liquid in the pan. Take it off the heat and set aside.
  3. Now prepare the Mornay Sauce. In another pan, melt the butter and add the flour to it while stirring quickly. Keep stirring and let it cook for a couple of minutes. Take the pan off the heat and add half the milk to it, and whisk the mixture till smooth. Add the remaining milk and whisk again till smooth.
  4. Put the pan back on the stove and keep stirring the mixture so no lumps form and it starts to thicken. Quickly add the cheese, pepper, and nutmeg and keep stirring till the cheese melts completely. Gruyere is quite salty so add salt to taste and stir well. Meanwhile, prepare the Bechamel. Melt butter in a medium saucepan. Add the flour and mix well, stirring quickly. Once the Mornay sauce has thickened well, take it off the heat and keep aside.
  5. Now cook the pasta. Bring a large pot of water to boil. Add salt to it and cook the pasta according to directions on the packet till quite “al dente”. It will cook a little more while baking. Drain and rinse the pasta in cold water so it is warm enough to handle easily.
  6. Very lightly oil a baking dish 10″ x 4-1/2″ x 3″ deep. I used a loaf tin because that was what I had. If you have a square or rectangular baking dish of similar proportions you may use that. Take a couple of tablespoons of the Mornay sauce and toss the pasta in it so it is very lightly coated in the sauce (this will help to bind the pasta layer together). Then place the pasta in layers end to end (forming long parallel lines) packing it close together.
  7. Pour the Vegetable Ragu sauce over this uniformly. Then carefully spread the Mornay sauce over this layer and smoothen it. Sprinkle the remaining grated cheese over the top and bake the Pastitsio at 180C (350F) for 45 minutes to an hour until the cheese melts and the top is a light golden brown.
  8. Let it cool. Then gently loosen the sides of the Pasta Pie with a knife and cut into portions to serve.