Pragmatic Pastitsio and a Food Event

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Late last year, my friend Tony from Olive Juice contacted me and told that he is hosting a food event called “Taste of the Mediterranean. It’s a food blogging event sponsored by igourmet.com and each month, a journey and celebration of each dish takes place, focusing on a popular dish from that from each of the regions of the Mediterranean.

Tony asked me if I would be a part of the panel for judging the dishes each month and I immediately said yes. It’s always been my goal to promote Greek food and this just the event to do it!

Last month it was “focus France”, and February it’s fabulous Greece. You can visit Tony’s site here to read the itinerary of this culinary tour around the Mediterranean basin. Having said that, do you fancy a trip around the Mediterranean? This month join us in Greece where we showcase the very popular dish called Pastitsio.

Pastitsio is Greece’s answer to lasagna where the traditional recipe is assembled using tubular pasta known as Makaronia #2 (bucatini), ground mince and a topping of Bechamel sauce.

There are many takes on Pastitsio around Greece, nutmeg being the prevalent spice in the Bechamel and any one or a or a combination of bay, clove, allspice and cinnamon are employed (in the mince) to kick up this favourite.

Be it Greek or non-Greek, eaten at a Greek restaurant or at your Greek friend’s home, one will find a slab of Pastitsio being served by your most hospitable Greek host or hostess.

Part of being Greek is being tolerant, pragmatic, inclusive. Melina Mercouri once described Athens like a mother, ever stretching her arms to embrace yet another child.

THAT’s the way of Greeks, our spirit…our love of people, family and friends and being the most gracious host(esses) to our guests.

There are many approaches you can take to Pastitsio. Tony has just offered uphis take here. I too have posted a Pastitsio recipe and you have have a peek at my version here.

The Pastitsio canvass is wide open. Do you have a desire for the classic Pastitsio with ground meat, pasta and Bechamel? Perhaps you want to make a vegetarian Pastitsio? Are you in the mood for a Seafood Pastitsio? A Lenten Pastitsio or one with legumes?

There’s more…ever thought of a Dessert Pastitsio? The possibilities are endless. Celebrate Greek food and try your hand at Pastitsio. Be imaginative with the ingredients, the spices, the construction. I only ask that you have fun in the kitchen, enter the event with verve and celebrate Greek food and all Mediterranean food this month and in the coming months.

Each month, a winner will be selected by way of a vote from our distinguished panel. Your dish’s entry earns you a chance to win a $50 gift certificate from igourmet.com. What are you waiting for? Get in the kitchen and get cookin’!

Simply cook up your version of Pastitsio, take photos, relate the thought-process to your dish and blog it by February 28th. Link back to Tony’s Taste of Mediterranean page and you can even use the logo!

P.S. I encourage my readers from Greece (and abroad) to participate as well. Feel free to offer up a dish in Greek or any other language you are most comfortable in communicating.

If you are not reading this post in a feed reader or at http://kalofagas.blogspot.com then the site you are reading is illegally publishing copyrighted material. Contact me at truenorth67 AT gmail DOT COM. All recipes, text and photographs in this post are the original creations & property of the author.
© 2007-2009 Peter Minakis

© 2009 – 2012,
Peter Minakis

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56 Comments for “Pragmatic Pastitsio and a Food Event”

Peter G

says:

Let me be the first to comment…ooohh! I can’t wait for this! Now I can be free to MIX my pasta and sauce and still call it PASTITSIO! I think I will do a vegie version!

EAT!

says:

I have never made pastitsio, but it certainly looks beyond delicious. Looks like it would involve a few extra miles on the treadmill.

Katherine Aucoin

says:

I t will be interesting to see what all of the creative minds come up with. Tough job for you having to judge ;-)

kellypea

says:

I have only made it once, but loved it, so this sounds like tasty fun. I’ll see if I can keep my wits about me long enough to put something up this week!

Bellini Valli

says:

I have made pastitsio but never had the opportunity to try it in Greece itself or at the foot of a Greek Ya Ya. I

Antonio Tahhan

says:

Awesome post Peter!! I was nervous to see if my pastitsio would get your Greek approval :)
I can’t wait to see all the different variations!
thanks for being a part of this – you rock!

Joie de vivre

says:

I’ve wanted to try this ever since I saw your post on Pastitsio. Thanks for posting about the event. It sounds like fun!

The Short (dis)Order Cook

says:

Your classic version looks like a winner to me. I’d have to make the Sir Pickypants version – with turkey!

Marjie

says:

I made pastitsio last year, and it is rich and wonderful. Yours looks splendid, of course, doubtless from a lifetime of experience.

Sue

says:

You’ve given me some great ideas for a veggie Pastitsio as my daughter-in-law is a vegetarian and will be visiting me for 10 days or so next month. Thanks Peter and your pics look so yummy!!

Cathy - wheresmydamnanswer

says:

When I was in Greece many moons ago this was one of my favorite dishes!! I have not tried to make it at home… YET!!

elly

says:

How fun, Peter! I’ll have to see if I can make some pastitsio in the coming weeks. I am out of cheese (the horror!) and going to the greek market is kind of a pain without a car.

[eatingclub] vancouver || js

says:

Ooh, pastitsio! Haven’t tried making this before, but seeing this makes me want to try. And it’s been too long since we’ve had Greek food.

So we’re probably going to try our hand at this pastitsio and so glad to hear that you’ll accept pastitsio, even made by a non-Greek.

Jan

says:

Pastitsio is soooo yummy I could eat it every day!
I can cook up a right nice Pastitsio too! (If I do say so myself) LOL
Which is reminding me I haven’t made it for a while.

joanne at frutto della passione

says:

Every time I come here I learn something new. I am always more and more amazed at the similarity between certain dishes in our two cultures. Pasticcio is a regular at my house, different spices but it sure is similar to this! I’ll definitely check out ATOM!

Holler

says:

I remember loving your original version of this Peter. I haven’t got around to trying it yet, although it has been at the back of my mind. Maybe this is the push I need :)

Paula

says:

I’d fancy a trip around the Meditteranean! And I’d also fancy having some of this Pastitsio! (It’s fun to say, isn’t it?) :-) Good luck and have fun with the judging!

says:

My dear Peter,
first of all, welcome in your brand new site !!!
What a wonderfull event, παω τρεχοντας να διαβασω περισοτερα !
Φιλια !

says:

Excellent job Peter!
Respect!!
I tried to subscribe but I was unsucceful. I received the following message:

“There has been an error of some kind. Ack!
FeedBurner could not deliver this feed to you because of the specific problem listed below:
Feed Address: http://feeds2.feedburner.com/blogspot/QJky

HTTP Error (Code) and Message: (404) Feed not found error: FeedBurner cannot locate this feed URI.”

Any tips?

says:

So very cool. I think pastitsio is one of the under-appreciated dishes of Greece–at least here in the US. I made what I call a “moustatitsio” back in October–a cross between a moussaka and pastitsio–with braised lamb instead of ground lamb. It was gorgeous. I might just have to cook some up again for this pragmatic pastitsio event!

Congrats on the new site, Peter!

says:

hi,

I am new into the blogging world. My blog is about indian food. when i read about this pastitsio post I wanted to make this dish with an indian twist. Can I enter my pastitsio in this event or is this event only open for dishes with the mediterranean touch?

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