Today I want to show my Lasagna Recipe or better known in Venezuela as Pasticho. Pasticho is the name we Venezuelans give to the Lasagna. For us Venezuelans, is a very special dish; Pasticho is lasagna with a very special touch and is 100% Venezuelan and is being prepared in the Venezuelan houses for more than 150 years.
In Venezuela we had German, Italian, Portugal and Spanish communities, therefore our food has a big influence from the European kitchen.
Venezuelan Pasticho / Lasagna recipe
This italo-venezuelan recipe was just a little be adapted without loosing its essence.
There are countless anecdotes of Italian immigrants who, when they touched Venezuelan soil fleeing World War II, suffered a change of name or trade when they registered. The reason? Misunderstandings of the languages. Surely “the pastiche” experienced the same fate, because its original name is Lasagna.
Our Pasticho is a normal lasagna with a few extras. Every family has its own recipe, but something that we all do is to add a lot of Béchamel cream. Some families substitute the pasta for sweet fried plantains, which believe or not is incredible.
Other families add chicken, or sausages or even corn. Nevertheless, my recipe is the normal lasagna without plantain, chicken or corn.
Originally, lasagna is a greek/ Italian dish, however, you can prepare it with vegetables or fish. The word ” lasagna ” comes from the Greek ” lasanon ” through Latin ” lasanum ” which refers to the pan in which they cooked the lasagna. The singular word in Italian is lasagna applies equally to the plate or foil -shaped pasta.
Last Sunday I woke up missing my country more than ever, and to cover somehow my sorrow I decide finally to bring a bit of Venezuela to Vienna. In other words Pasticho Sunday! I looked for my lasagna recipe and spent the whole morning preparing fresh pasta for my lasagna.
If you want, you can also use my pasta recipe to make the pasta by yourself. Although is a lot of work I enjoy the whole process. Especially with fresh pasta, the taste is incredible.
Enough from history and let’s get to work!
- 500 grams ground beef
- 1 units onions minced
- 6 cloves garlic minced
- 3 units carrots minced
- 1 can tomato sauce Mutti is my favorite
- 1 tbsp sugar
- 10 onces mozzarella cheese grated
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1 tbs butter
- 2 Bay leaves
- salt and peper to taste
- 1/2 cup butter
- 1/2 cup flour
- 4 cups milk
- 1/4 tbsp nutmeg
- 1/2 tbsp salt
- 1 package of flat lasagna pasta ( not boiling required)
- Cut the onions, garlic and carrots, and cooked till they are golden at low temperature in a medium pot, add the bay leaves and salt and pepper.
- When the onions and garlic are gold add the ground beef and whisk constantly and let it cook will the fat of the meat is gone
- Add the canned tomatoes, the sugar and a bit of water; cook for 20 min in low temperature.
- Add the bit of milk and continuing cooking for another 20 min
- Lower the temperature and let it cook for 40 min and set aside
- Melt the butter on an pan and add the flour and whisk until smooth
- Add gradually the 4 cups of milk and whisk constantly till you get a smoth sauce
- Add the salt and the nutmeg, and cooked in low temperature until the sauce is creamy
- Add a bit of butter to the baking dish
- Arrange the pasta sheets add the beef tomato sauce, and the béchamel sauce on top, add again another layer of pasta and repeat the first step till you arrive at the top.
- The last layer is the béchamel sauce and the mozzarella cheese Cover the pasticho with a piece of foil and bake, covered, for 30 minutes. Remove foil and continue to bake until cheese is melted. Let cool for 5-10 minutes before serving.