Pasticho (Pasticho Venezolano) is the Venezuelan version of lasagna or the Greek Pastitsio. This comforting dish layers pasta with a creamy bechamel sauce, and tomato meat sauce seasoned with soy sauce and Worcestershire sauce. I used a ground beef filling, but ham is one of the most common additions.
This is best made in a deep 9×13 inch baking dish. For the photos, I divided the ingredients between an 8×8 inch and a smaller baking dish. I cut the noodles to fit the pan. My first layers of pasta only included 3 noodles, but I would layer with 4-5 in the future. I had a few leftover and would have liked a bit more pasta in the dish.
Once out of the oven, let the Pasticho rest for a few minutes to settle before slicing and serving. This will keep you from completely burning the roof of your mouth from all of the bubbly cheese and will keep the lasagna from completely falling apart. I waited 10 minutes and the layers still slid a little.
Pasticho (Venezuelan Lasagna) Recipe
Adapted from About.com
Pasticho (Venezuelan Lasagna)
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 large onion chopped
- 3 cloves garlic minced
- 1 pound ground beef
- 1 tablespoon soy sauce
- 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
- 1 can (28 ounce) whole, peeled tomatoes
- 1 can (6 ounce) tomato paste
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1 teaspoon dried basil
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
- 1/2 cup red wine or beef stock
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter
- 1/2 cup all purpose flour
- 4 1/2 cups milk
- salt and pepper to taste
- 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
- 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
- 1 pound dried lasagna noodles
- 10 ounces Mozzarella cheese divided
- 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese divided
- In a large saucepan, drizzle olive oil over medium low heat. Add the chopped onions and cook, stirring occasionally, until beginning to soften and become translucent. Stir in the garlic and cook until just fragrant, about 30 seconds. Crumble in the beef, breaking apart the pieces with a spoon. Mix in the soy sauce and worcestershire sauce. Cook, stirring occasionally, until browned. Mix in the tomatoes, tomato paste, oregano, basil, bay leaf, sugar, and red wine. Bring to a simmer, then reduce heat to low. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the sauce thickens, 30-45 minutes. Season with salt and pepper, if needed. Remove the bay leaf.
- Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add lasagna noodles and cook until almost al dente, nearly tender. They will cook further in the oven. Drain.
- In a medium saucepan, melt butter over medium low heat. Once melted, whisk in flour until golden and bubbling. Increase heat to medium. Slowly whisk in milk and continue to stir until thickened. Season with salt, pepper, nutmeg, and parmesan. Remove from heat once smooth.
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Cover the bottom of a 9x13 inch baking dish with a thin layer of the bechamel sauce. Top with a layer of the lasagna noodles. Spread with a layer of 1/3rd of the meat sauce. Cover with a second layer of pasta. Spread about 1 cup of the bechamel sauce over the pasta, top with 1/3rd of the Mozzarella cheese, and 2 tablespoons of the Parmesan. Cover with another 1/3rd of the meat sauce, then 1 cup of the bechamel sauce, 1/3rd of the Mozzarella, and 2 tablespoons of parmesan. Add remaining meat sauce and final layer of pasta. Cover with remaining bechamel sauce, then remaining Mozzarella and Parmesan.
- Cover baking dish with foil and bake in preheated oven for 30 minutes. Remove the foil and bake until cheese is bubbly and beginning to turn golden, 10-15 minutes. Allow to cool for 10 minutes before slicing and serving.