Greek Pastitsada






Pastitsada is a traditional recipe from Corfu,  where it is a traditional Sunday dinner, it is sometimes called pastitsada Korfiatiki.

A casserole dish, one traditional pastitsada recipe features lean leg or shoulder of veal and macaroni, as well olive oil, minced onions, sliced garlic cloves, salt and ground black pepper, white wine, vinegar, cloves, bay leaf, cinnamon, fresh or canned tomatoes, butter, and grated kefalotyri or Parmesan cheese.

Other versions of pastitsada features spicy braised beef or rooster as the meat, served with pasta and red sauce.The dish shows Italian influences

In the grocery stores you can find ready made spice jars for this recipe. But of course each homemaker has there own little secrets. You can add a bit of cumin or even curry powder.





1 whole large chicken, cut into pieces
3 onions, cut into slices
3 cloves of garlic, minced
1 can chopped tomatoes
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1 tablespoon granulated sugar
500 ml red wine
4 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 cinnamon sticks, whole
6 cloves, whole
6 pieces all-spice
2 bay leaves
1 tsp salt
1 package Greek bucatini pasta
Olive Oil
Greek Kefalotyri cheese , grated




The chicken should be prepared the 1 day ahead so it can marinate overnight.
Place the chicken in a bowl. Add 1 cinnamon stick, 3 cloves and 3 pieces of all-spice.
Pour in enough wine to cover the chicken. Allow it to marinate overnight.
The following day, drain the chicken and reserve the wine in a separate bowl. Discard the spices.
In a large bowl, combine 4-5 tablespoons of flour, 1 teaspoon of salt and freshly ground pepper. Dry off the chicken from the wine with paper towels. It needs to be as dry as possible so it can brown nicely and not soak too much of the flour.
Add the pieces of chicken to the bowl in batches. Shake bowl to coat. Transfer to a large sieve. Shake to remove excess flour. Make sure the pieces of chicken are completely coated.
Place a large, deep pan over high heat. When it gets very hot, add the oil. Add the chicken in batches and brown nicely on all sides.
When ready, remove from pan and keep warm in a plate.
In the same pan, add some olive oil and sauté the onions and garlic. When softened and golden, add the tomato paste and sauté for another minute while stirring with a wooden spoon.
Add the wine. Allow it to reduce and add the can of chopped tomatoes. Add the chicken and add enough water to cover the pieces halfway, if necessary. Add 1 cinnamon stick, 3 cloves and 3 pieces of all-spice, bay leaf and salt.
Cover and bring to a boil. When it does, lower heat and allow it to simmer for 1 hour or until the chicken is cooked through and the sauce has thickened a bit.
Since the chicken was coated in flour, the sauce might need to be stirred every now and then so that it doesn’t stick to the bottom of the pot. Make sure it is not cooking over high heat.
Boil the pasta in another pot. They will be easier to eat if you cut them into 2 or 3 pieces before boiling. Serve the pasta in a large serving platter. Add the pieces of chicken and sauce over the pasta. Sprinkle with a generous amount of grated Kefalotyri cheese.




Recipe adapted from Akis Petretzikis




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