10 September 2012

* Turkey Pastitsio

Turkey Pastitsio Recipe
This was meant to be a Turkey and Spinach Lasagne, but when I checked the cupboard I didn't have enough dried lasagne sheets (of course I didn't - I was bound to revert to form at some point), and I've been so busy that I really didn't have the time or the inclination to go back down to the shops (I live at the top of a hill). Plus - I have pasta of every shape and size, secreted in jars and packets throughout the house... at least - that's how it sometimes seems!

Well. Except for lasagne sheets.

I figured I might as well make use of the macaroni and make a pastitsio instead, and utilise the last of the crème fraîche et al and make a quick cheese sauce to stir through it.

Pasta again, but Neil didn't seem to mind - I bribed him with a promise of sausage, egg and chips tomorrow - and Josh wasn't around to complain about only liking simple food.... which, to him,  is anything between two slices of bread. Crisps, usually.

This is incredibly easy to make, and is a really nice alternative to lasagne. Beef or otherwise.

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 Serves 4

Prep time - 15 minutes
Cooking time - 1hr 20 minutes + 10 minutes in the oven

You will need
2 saucepans
A 23cm square (or equivalent) baking dish

Turkey Bolognese
1 tbsp olive oil
200g smoked bacon - chopped
1 heaped tsp dried rosemary
1 fat clove garlic - crushed
1 onion - finely chopped
500g minced turkey
400g tin chopped tomatoes
200ml water
2 tbsp tomato puree
1 heaped tsp dried oregano
2 large handfuls spinach - optional

Macaroni Topping
200g dried macaroni or similar
300ml  crème fraîche
200g Marscapone
80g Gruyère - grated
6 tbsp freshly grated Parmesan

Turkey Bolognese 
In a medium saucepan fry the bacon and rosemary gently in the olive oil until beginning to turn golden and crisp at the edges - about 5 minutes. Add the chopped onion and garlic and soften for 3 minutes.

Add the minced turkey to the pan and brown until cooked through - this should take maybe 5  minutes. Then add the tomatoes, tomato puree, oregano and 200ml water (rinse the tomato tin out).

Bring to the boil then cover and simmer for 1 hour. You may need to remove the lid after about 30 minutes, to allow the sauce to thicken and reduce.

Optional: Remove from heat and add the spinach, stir until wilted.

Spoon the turkey bolognese into the baking dish and spread out evenly across the bottom.

Macaroni Topping
If you're not making the bolognese ahead or for freezing - when the bolognese has been simmering for 40 minutes, preheat your oven to 180c/160cfan/350f/gas4 and get cracking with the macaroni topping.

Cook the pasta according the packet instructions.

Reserve 2 tbsp of the Parmesan.

In the saucepan place the crème fraîche and Marscapone and very gently heat until melted, giving it the odd stir to combine them. Add the Gruyère and the Parmesan, stir until melted. Add the cooked, drained pasta then spoon over the top of the turkey bolognese.

Scatter the reserved Parmesan across the top of the Pastitsio and cook in the oven for 10 minutes or until the cheese turns golden.

Turkey Pastitsio Recipe

Serve immediately with fresh crusty bread and a green salad.


  1. I'm secretly saving money to buy a plane ticket. I can sleep into a closet I don't mind.

    1. We've got a new garden shed coming - there should be just enough room for a bed and a blanket ;0).

      You'll have to cut the grass with your teeth though - you'll be taking the place of the lawnmower.

    2. Don't forget to bring a pillow.


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