Sorry for the delay, but here goes.......this is the recipe I ended up using (it's a sort of combination of three recipes that were recommended to me) and it turned out really well.....very authentic!
If you come across any mistakes in this (of which there are likely a few) or you have any questions, just PM me.
Serve with nothing more than good old crusty bread and either butter or good olive oil and balsamic vinegar.....mmmmm!
Don't forget the wine.......!
Pastitsio Recipe (serves 4-5)
1 tablespoon of tomato puree
╝ cup of water
Good pinch of allspice
Good pinch of pepper
Ż teaspoon of salt
Ż tablespoon of chopped fresh mint leaves
1 tablespoon of chopped fresh parsley
╝ teacup of white wine
ż lb of lean minced beef
Ż onion, chopped
1 large garlic clove, chopped finely
1 tablespoon butter
Ż lb of macaroni or penne pasta
Ż tablespoon salt
1 tablespoon of butter
1 large or two small egg whites
1/2 cup of Kefalotiri or Kefalograviera cheese (you can use parmesan as a substitute).
╝ cup of butter
2 tablespoons flour
3 cups of warmed milk (I warmed it in the microwave)
1 large or two small egg yolks, beaten
Good pinch of nutmeg
Seasoning to taste
Preparing the meat mixtureůůů..
Melt the tablespoon of butter in a good sized pan, then add the chopped onion and garlic and sautÚ until theyĺre brown.
Add the meat to the pan and break up whilst cooking until the meat is browned and the liquid has all evaporated.
Add the white wine, parsley, mint, salt pepper and allspice and mix well. Remove from the heat and allow to stand for five minutes.
Combine the tomato puree and the water and stir them into the meat mixture.
Bring back to the boil and simmer for around fifteen minutes (until thereĺs hardly any moisture left).
Then remove the pan from the heat and set to the side.
For the pasta, bring a large pan of water to the boil and add the Ż tablespoon of salt.
Add the pasta and cook, stirring occasionally, until the pasta is ôal denteö.
Remove the pasta from the heat, strain and rinse under cold water. In the pot that you cooked that past in, melt the tablespoon of butter then toss in the pasta and stir carefully.
Whip the egg white/whites with an electric mixer (if poss) until nice and stiff and then pour over the pasta.
Sprinkle over the grated cheese and mix well.
To prepare the bÚchamelůů..
Melt the butter in a pan then stir in the flour and cook over a low heat stirring continuously.
Be careful not to burn.
Pour in the warm milk slowly, stirring all the time.
Cook over a low heat, still stirring until the sauce comes to the boil and starts to thicken.
Turn the heat off and stir in the egg yolk/yolks with a whisk.
Then add the nutmeg and season to taste,
Heat the oven to 350 degrees and butter a baking dish (I used a Pyrex) large enough to serve 4-5.
Place Ż the pasta in the dish, and level out.
Top with all the meat mixture then the third ôlayerö should be the remaining pasta.
Top with the bÚchamel sauce (as much as you can fit in the dish!) and spread out nice and evenly.
You can top with either more grated Kefalotiri cheese or breadcrumbs if you wish.
Bake for at least 45 minutes or until the top is lovely and brown then remove from the oven and allow to cool a bit (it makes your ôsquaresö much easier to cut without them collapsing).
BTW, this tastes even better if cooked one day, allowed to cool, cut into the traditional squares and reheated the following dayůůthe flavours are so much richer!
Good luck folks!