Native Foods Cafe
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)
large onion, chopped finely
TBSP olive oil
oz. vegan mock ground beef or crumbled tempeh
large cloves garlic, minced
cup dry white wine
oz can crushed tomatoes
TBSP ground cinnamon
TBSP dried oregano
tsp fresh thyme leaves
tsp salt and pepper and more to taste
oz. pastitsio or tubular pasta, like Rigatoni
sticks (1/2 cup) of vegan butter, like Earth Balance
cup all-purpose flour
cups of cashew cream
cup unsweetened, plain soy yogurt
and pepper to taste
tsp. freshly grated nutmeg
TBSP nutritional yeast
make the tomato sauce:
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.
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
your oven to 350 degrees.
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.
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!).
the pastitsio for 45 minutes at 350 degrees. Let cool before eating, and serve
with a fresh tomato salad.
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