Vegan Pastitsio

 

by
Alison Vellas

Native Foods Cafe

 

Never
heard of Pastitsio? Well let me tell you,
you’re missing out. This Greek pasta dish is traditionally made with béchamel
and ground meat sauce. When I was in Greece I ate this
every day for dinner…probably not the best idea. This vegan version is
healthier and just as decadent.

 

 Vegan Pastitsio (serves 4-6)


Pastitsio1Native Foods Cafe, vegan, vegan food, vegan restaurant, vegan recipe, vegan pastitsio

1
large onion, chopped finely

3
TBSP olive oil

14
oz. vegan mock ground beef or crumbled tempeh

3
large cloves garlic, minced

1
cup dry white wine

28
oz can crushed tomatoes

1
TBSP ground cinnamon

1
TBSP dried oregano

1
tsp fresh thyme leaves

3
TBSP breadcrumbs

1
tsp salt and pepper and more to taste

16
oz. pastitsio or tubular pasta, like Rigatoni

 

For
the béchamel:

1
sticks (1/2 cup) of vegan butter, like Earth Balance

1/2
cup all-purpose flour

2
cups of cashew cream

2/3
cup unsweetened, plain soy yogurt

salt
and pepper to taste

¼
tsp. freshly grated nutmeg

1
TBSP nutritional yeast


Pastitsio2Native Foods Cafe, vegan, vegan food, vegan restaurant, vegan recipe, vegan pastitsio

To
make the tomato sauce:

Turn
the stove on medium-high and heat oil in a large saucepan, and add the onions
to fry for 3-5 minutes until soft and translucent. Add in your tempeh or meat
substitute and garlic, stir and fry for 3 more minutes. Add in your wine,
tomatoes, cinnamon, oregano and thyme, and mix. Turn heat down to low and let
the sauce cook for 15 minutes, stirring to keep it from burning on the bottom.
After 15 minutes, taste and add salt, starting with 1 tsp. and adding more as
desired. Add pepper to taste, and stir in the breadcrumbs to soak up any access
moisture. Set the tomato sauce aside.

 
Pastitsio3Native Foods Cafe, vegan, vegan food, vegan restaurant, vegan recipe, vegan pastitsio

While
the tomato sauce is cooking, you can prepare the noodles. Cook them according
to package directions, then drain them and transfer them back into the pot. Add
¼ cup of vegan butter, ½ cup of soy yogurt, 1 tsp. salt, 1 tsp. tapioca starch
and 1 tbsp. nutritional yeast to pot and stir gently until noodles are
completely coated.

Pre-heat
your oven to 350 degrees.

Coat
a baking dish (a lasagna pan works well) with olive oil and put down 1/3 of
your pasta, or enough to cover the bottom.  Top that with all of the tomato sauce, and then add a final
layer of the noodles. Set aside and make the béchamel sauce.

 

For
the Béchamel:

Slowly
melt ½ cup of vegan butter in a medium saucepan on medium heat. When butter is
completely melted, whisk (with a wire whisk) in a little of the flour at a
time. Whisk continually until you have a smooth “roux.” Your roux will be like
a light brown paste—cook it for two minutes after flour and butter have
combined, but don’t burn it! Then slowly pour in your cashew cream and yogurt,
whisking constantly. Add 1 tsp. of tapioca flour. Cook for 5 minutes, or until
thick. Take off heat and stir in 1 tsp salt, a dash of freshly grated nutmeg,
and 2 tbsp. of nutritional yeast. Pour your béchamel sauce onto the last layer
of noodles (be generous!).

Bake
the pastitsio for 45 minutes at 350 degrees. Let cool before eating, and serve
with a fresh tomato salad.

 

 

Native Foods Cafe, vegan, vegan food, vegan restaurant, vegan recipe, vegan pastitsio

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