is a recipe that draws on the cooking know how of three wonderful cooks – my cousin Sofia, my mum and our Greek teacher Kyria Kaiti.
Sofia makes an oh-so-delicious moussaka. The meat sauce she makes for her moussaka has a gorgeous infusion of whole cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves and bay leaves. The meat sauce is cooked for no more than an hour, so the spice flavours are balanced and heavenly and in no way overwhelmed by a heavy, overcooked tomato or meat flavour. This is the meat sauce I have used for KO’s Pastitsio
My mum’s contribution to the recipe is the structure of the pastitsio – the layers, the quantities and the addition of grated cheese to the bechamél sauce.
Kyria Kaiti tried one of my earlier versions of the pastitsio and recommended an additional layer of béchamel on the base layer of pasta, which I added and it really works to give a lovely smooth and creamy eating feel to the pasta.
My addition to the recipe is the use of casarecce pasta, a ‘tubular’ pasta, without the hollowness of a penne or rigatoni. I feel it adds to the eating experience of this classic and much loved Greek dish!