Pastitsada: A Spicy Beef with Pasta Recipe from Corfu

 This authentic pastitsada recipe, which serves 4 to 5 persons, takes 30 minutes to prepare and 2 hours to cook. Pastitsada, a traditional dish from the island of Corfu, consists of pasta topped with meat braised in a spicy tomato-based sauce. 

To make pastitsada you need the following ingredients: beef, spaghetti, garlic cloves, butter, onions, ground cinnamon, cloves, tomato puree, red wine, sugar, olive oil, kefalograviera, salt, and pepper.   

Pastitsada: A Spicy Beef with Pasta Recipe from Corfu

 Pastitsada - Ingredients 

  • 1.75 kg of beef (rump). cut in pieces.
  • 500 gr. spaghetti
  • 3-4 garlic cloves, peeled and finely sliced
  • 20 g of butter
  • 4 onions, finely sliced 
  • ½ teaspoon of ground cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon of cloves
  • 1 tablespoon of sugar
  • 2 tablespoons of tomato puree, diluted in a little hot water
  • 3 tablespoons of red wine 
  • 4 tablespoons of Greek olive oil
  • Salt 
  • Black pepper
  • Kefalograviera cheese, grated to serve 

Pastitsada - How to Make

  1. Start this pastitsada recipe by taking a small bowl and mixing together the garlic, cinnamon, cloves, salt, and pepper. 
  2. Wash the meat under fresh water and allow it to dry. 
  3. Use some of the garlic mixture to lightly marinate the meat. 
  4. Heat the oil and butter in a large ovenproof casserole. 
  5. Seal the meat until lightly brown all over. 
  6. Take out the meat, add the onions and stir until they start to color. 
  7. Put the meat back into the saucepan and add enough hot water to come just below its top surface
  8. Add the tomato puree, sugar, salt, and pepper. Gently mix. 
  9. Cover and cook slowly for about 1.5 hours, turning the meat over frequently and stirring the onions to prevent them from sticking, until the meat is tender. 
  10. When the meat is tender, put the dish on the hob, slowly pour the wine over the meat and let it bubble uncovered for 5 minutes. 
  11. Gently stir to make sure that the onions do not stick. The sauce should be smooth and sweet with melted onions. If not, take out the meat and cook the sauce, uncovered, rapidly until it is reduced. 
  12. Cook the spaghetti until al dente. 
  13. Serve immediately with the sauce over the pasta and the meat.
  14. Top with some kefalograviera. 

Pastitsada is one of my favorite Sunday dishes. I hope you like it.