Pastitsio Goes Light

Pastitsio Goes Light 150 Author: Canadian Living Credits: Pastitsio Goes Light 150

This is the Greek variation of lasagna, made with less fuss and less fat, too. It's great for company — make it the day before, then pop it in the oven. Serve with a light green salad tossed with a sun-dried tomato vinaigrette.

  • Portion size 8 servings
  • Credits : ©


  • 1 teaspoon vegetable oil
  • 2 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 onion chopped
  • 2 carrots finely diced
  • 1 zucchini finely chopped
  • 3/4 lbs lean ground beef
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1 can tomato
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
Pasta Custard Layers:
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 3 cups milk
  • 1 egg
  • 1 cup 2% cottage cheese
  • 1 cup shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 3 cups pasta shells
  • 1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese


In large nonstick skillet beat oil over medium heat; cook garlic, onion, carrots and zucchini, stirring, for about 5 minutes or until softened. Add beef, basil, oregano, cinnamon, salt, pepper and thyme; cook, stirring to break up beef, for about 3 minutes or until meat is no longer pink. Pour in tomato paste and tomatoes, mashing tomatoes with fork; bring to boil. Reduce heat; simmer for about 20 minutes or until almost all liquid is evaporated and sauce is thickened. Stir in parsley; set aside.

Pasta Custard Layers: In heavy saucepan, melt butter over medium beat; stir in flour. Cook, stirring constantly, for 2 minutes. Gradually whisk in milk; bring to boil. Reduce heat to medium-low; cook, stirring, for about 10 minutes or until thickened. In large bowl, whisk egg; whisk in about 1/2 cup (125 mL) of the hot milk sauce. Return mixture to saucepan; cook, stirring, for 2 minutes. Remove from heat; blend in cottage cheese, mozzerella, salt, pepper and nutmeg.

Meanwhile, in large pot of boiling salted water, cook pasta for about 8 minutes or until almost tender. Drain; return to pot. Add cheese sauce; toss well. Spread half ofthe pasta mixture in greased 13- x 9-inch (3 L) baking dish; spread meat mixture over top. Spread remaining pasta mixture evenly over meat. Sprinkle with Parmesan. (Can be prepared to this point, covered and refrigerated for up to 1 day. Let stand at room temperature for 30 minutes before baking.) Bake in 375°F (190°C) oven for 1 hour or until heated through and top is lightly browned. Let stand for 10 minutes.

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Pastitsio Goes Light