Pastitsio use to be one of my favourite dishes as a child. It was full of egg, meat and dairy (though my family left out the meat, at least), and is a common Greek meal. Was keen to try this veganized version of it, after spotting it in the book “Vegan Planet” by Robin Robertson.
It is a little bit fussy, requiring a few steps, but the results are worth it. For the tomato sauce, I just grabbed a can of pasta sauce form the supermarket. There are many that are vegan, so you should have no problems finding one that is suitable to use. As for the vegan parmesan cheese, I used Cheezly Parmesan which you can buy at PAWS. The recipe calls for radiator pasta but if you can’t find that, any small pasta will do. I noticed with the gluten free pasta, it is hard to find the smaller shapes, so just use whatever you can find.
What you will need:
450g radiator or other small pasta
1 tbsp olive oil
1 yellow onion, chopped (optional)
2 garlic cloves, chopped (optional)
450g firm tofu, rinsed and crumbled
225g white mushrooms, chopped
½ tsp oregano
½ tsp ground cinnamon
¼ cup dry red wine (optional)
2 cups tomato pasta sauce
¼ to ½ chopped fresh parsley
¾ drained soft silken tofu
2 cups soy milk ( I use Bonsoy as it is thick, creamy and savoury in flavour. Available in supermarkets.)
½ tsp salt
1/8 tsp black pepper
Pinch of nutmeg
½ cup grated vegan parmesan cheese
Cook the pasta in boiling water, according to packet directions. Drain and set aside.
Heat olive oil in a large pan over medium heat. Add onions, cover and cook until softened, about 5 minutes. Stir in garlic, firm tofu, mushrooms, oregano, cinnamon, and wine. Simmer to reduce, about 3 minutes.
Stir in tomato pasta sauce and parsley. Reduce heat to low and cook to reduce liquid, about 10 minutes.
Preheat oven to 190 degrees Celsius.
Combine silken tofu, soy milk, salt, pepper, and nutmeg in a blender and process until smooth.
Spread half of the pasta over the bottom of a lightly oiled 9x13 inch (22.86 x 33.02 cm) baking dish and sprinkle with half of the vegan cheese.
Spread all of the tomato mixture over the top and layer the remaining pasta on top. Spread the pureed tofu mixture over the pasta and sprinkle with the remaining cheese.
Bake until hot and bubbly, about 45 minutes. Let rest for 15 minutes before serving.