Traditional Venezuelan Pasticho

Today I want to show you guys my recipe of Pasticho, Pasticho or better known in Europe as Lasagna, is a very special dish in Venezuela; this variety of lasagna is 100% Venezuelan and is being prepared in the Venezuelan houses for more than 150 years.

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!

Our Pasticho is special because is extremely creamy therefore we used a lot of béchamel cream. Every family has its own recipe, and my recipe is actually the recipe of my Rumanian father who grew up in Caracas, and some would say is more Venezuelan than the arepa itself, till you hear him talk and is impossible to hide his true origin.

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.

Enough from history and let’s get to work!

INGREDIENTS

500gr of ground beef

2 onion

6 garlics

3 carrots

1 canned tomatoes

1 spoon of sugar

salt

pepper

a bit of milk

10 ounces mozzarella cheese grated

Bechamel Sauce

½ cup of butter

½ cup of flour

1/4 teaspoon of nutmeg

1/2 teaspoon of salt

4 cups of milk,

1 package of flat lasagna pasta ( not boiling required)

Directions

Cut the onions, garlic and carrots, and cooked till they are golden at low temperature in a medium pot, add salt and pepper. When the onions and garlic are gold add the ground beef and whisk constantly, add the bit of milk and continuing cooking. At the end add the canned tomatoes, the sugar and a bit of water; cook for 20 min in low temperature.

Bechamel

Melt the butter and add the flour and whisk until smooth, add gradually the 4 cups of milk whisking constantly, add the salt and the nutmeg, and cooked in low temperature until the sauce is creamy

Assemble Pasticho

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.

My secret: when the pastiche is ready for the oven I add a bit of milk to the corners to even make it more creamy!

*image via: Fotolia

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