A new entry
Although lasagna is a dish that many people looove to eat, in Greece it isn’t well favored. The reason is, that we already have a traditional Greek oven baked pasta that we make and uses the exact same ingredients as lasagna usually do. Like, Minced meat, cream and cheese. With the only difference between pastitsio and lasagna being in the type of pasta that is used. Our traditional pastitsio, uses macaroni while lasagna use lasagna well…daaah. Lasagna is in fact a new entry to our Greek cuisine. (I myself haven’t even tried lasagna until three years ago).
So, what I have for you here is a lighter version of lasagna than the usual fully stuffed ones. In these you can actually taste the pasta, which is amazing (barilla has one of the best pasta qualities ). Italians love their pasta and what matters the most to them, is to accompany it with some good quality tomato sauce and cheese. Pretty basic stuff.
The Mediterranean way
The Mediterranean dishes, always consist of some freshness. And this dish is no exception. There is no meat. They’re just simple, vegetarian with fresh vegetables. Plus, I’m not a fan of greasy food. I know that sounds weird, looking at a full cheesy saucy dish (like lasagna usually are) and not crave it. I remember when I was like 10-11 years old and we went on a bus trip for a day, with our school class. At lunch time, they would take us to a place to grab something to eat. So we had to decide where we wanted to go.
And while all the kids were shouting like a chore: Goody’s… Goody’s… Goody’s. I was like oh no, don’t do this to me. So I ended up leaving the rest of the class, to go with my mother at a nice taverna by the sea. Where I had a juicy grilled pork chop and some Greek salad yum . I don’t know why but that’s what I remember the most from that trip.
Less is more
Now about the recipe, I started to undress the lasagna and used only some nice homemade tomato sauce. Ready made ones, that are sold on supermarkets are expensive for no reason and contain tons of added sugar (I recently saw Jamie Oliver’s documentary about additive sugar in foods and kind of freaked out).
Anyways, you don’t need to do much. Just pour the tomato juice in a pan, along with a tiny amount of sugar (compared to bought sauces), some dried oregano, a bit of olive oil, salt and pepper. Then you simply cook it until it starts to become sweet and the sourness goes away. So simple. This sauce, is the one I use when making pizza as well. Its ridiculously easy to make and gives that nice pizza taste.
Also used some Greek kefalotyri cheese, instead of parmigiano. It’s just a notch less salty than parmigiano.