Greek Style Lasagne with Anthotyro

Yesterday I didn’t know what to prepare for lunch and remembered that I had some lasagna in my pantry which were there for quite a long time. I had some vegetables, bell peppers and mushrooms and some spring onions, carrots, parsley and eggplants from last week’s visit to the farmers” market, which needed to be used. Instead of buying the usual ground beef, I decided to make a more healthy version using ground turkey and anthotyro which is a Greek cheese very low in fat.

Although I would be very happy if I could make an all vegetarian lasagna dish, two of my three children do not like most of the vegetables so I either have to cook two different dishes or adjust the recipe to please them all. In baked dishes like moussakas, chicken pie and lasagna I prepare half the tin without the vegetables and the other half I add them separately. I also do this in many other pasta dishes.

Pasta, macaroni and lasagna are all Greek words.  About lasagna, I am quoting from Wikipedia, that although the dish is generally believed to have originated in Italy, the word «lasagna» is derived from the Greek word λάσανα (lasana) or λάσανον (lasanon) meaning «trivet or stand for a pot», «chamber pot«. The Romans later borrowed the word as «lasanum», in Latin, to mean cooking pot. The Italians then used the word to refer to the dish in which lasagna is made. It wasn’t long before the name of the food took on the name of the serving dish.

Another theory suggests that lasagna might have come from Greek λάγανον (laganon), a kind of flat sheet of pasta dough cut into stripes.

The word pasta also derives froman ancient Greek verb «επιπάσσω», (epipasso) which means «sprinkle” in a sense of showing the technique of rolling out dough and of course the word «macaroni – plural macaronia», Greek «μακαρόνι» comes from the Greek words “makaria” (meaning food made from barley”) and were offered in ancient Greece at wakes.   This tradition exists until today and after a funeral relatives gather and eat.


I am submitting this recipe to Abby, of Eat the Right Stuff, who is hosting this week’s Presto Pasta Nights, created by Ruth, of Once Upon a Feast.

Greek Style Lasagna with Anthotyro
Preparation time:  30 minutes
Baking time:  1 hour
Serves:   5

Ingredients:

  • 15 lasagna noodles, which do not required to be cooked
  • 500 grams ground turkey
  • 5 springs onion, finely chopped.
  • 1/2 cup of various colours of bell pepper, green, yellow, red, chopped
  • 1 cup of mushrooms, chopped
  • 3 carrots, grated
  • ½ cup of fresh parsley, finely chopped
  • 1 eggplant, peeled and diced
  • 1 large garlic clove, finely chopped
  • 500 grams (1 can of whole tomatoes) blended
  • 350 grams of anthotyro cheese
  • ½ tsp garlic powder
  • ½ tsp oregano
  • ½ tsp dried basil
  • Salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • ½ cup white dry wine
  • ½ cup olive oil

Ingredients for the béchamel sauce

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • 0,5 litre milk (I used low fat milk)
  • 2 eggs
  • A pinch of salt
  • 1 pinch of nutmeg
  • a few spoonfuls of freshly grated halloumi cheese to sprinkle on top (optional)
  • a pinch of cinnamon to sprinkle on top (optional)

(See step by step instructions for the sauce here)

Directions:

  1. In a skillet add the olive oil on the heat, (reserve 2 tablespoons) and sauté the ground turkey.Add the onions, garlic and sauté for a few minutes, then add the grated carrots, mix and add the wine.(Before adding the wine you can sauté all the other vegetables as well but I sautéd them separately because my children don’t eat them)Mix until the alcohol evaporates and add the seasoning and herbs.
  2. Add the tomato and ½ cup of water and simmer for about 20 minutes.Remove from the heat before the sauce thickens and mix in the parsley.
  3. (As I have to do this separately, in a non stick frying pan I add 2 tablespoons of olive oil and sauté the eggplant, then I add the mushrooms and bell peppers and sauté for another minute and remove from the heat).
  4. In a baking tin, ladle one third of sauce and spread along the bottom of the tin.The reason I wanted the sauce not to thicken is that the noodles may cook in the juices. Apply a layer noodles, and spread another 1/3 of the sauce (here I added the eggplant, mushrooms and pepper on one side of the tin.
  5. Crumble the anthotyro and add half of it on top of the ground meat.Apply the second layer of lasagna. Ladle in remaining sauce as well as remaining vegetables and anthotyro.Finally add the third layer of lasagna. (If you would like to see how anthotyro is formed you may read my post when I made Halloumi).
  6. Finally, I made half the quantity of my béchamel sauce, and when it set I added more milk to make it thinner as I didn’t want a thick layer of cream on top.
  7. Finally I grated some halloumi on top and sprinkled a dash of cinnamon on it.
  8. Bake at 180° C until it is golden brown on top, in my oven I baked it for 1 hour. Allow to cool before serving.

Loulou, of Chez Loulou is hosting an event about cheese called La Fête du Fromage. Although everybody loves Greek feta, there are a lot of Greek cheeses which are equally good but unknown around the world, so I would also like to introduce you to anthotyro. (After a question in the comments, I would like to add this in the post). The name anthos means blossom and tyros means cheese. Therefore anthotyros  “blossom cheese” is named for the way the curds blossom as they are stirred to make other cheese. If you like you may see my post when I made Halloumi: Anthotyro is an exquisite,  fresh white soft cheese. They usually compare it to ricotta.   Anthotyros is unsalted but salt or sugar is added depending on what you want to make.  I have seen it compared to ricotta but the only similarity is that they are both white soft cheese.  The taste is completely different.

If you liked this recipe, you might also like:

Moussakas

Chicken Pie

Lasagna with ground meat and bechamel

Pastitsio the Greek way

Makaronia tou Fournou (Pastitsio made in Cyprus)

Cannellonia with crepes


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Χωρίς σχόλια on Greek Style Lasagne with Anthotyro

  1. Ο/Η Emiline λέει:

    You are a very nice mom to make two separate dishes for your kids. If I had kids I’d probably force them to eat whatever I made. But then they’d probably starve and I would get in trouble.
    I think I’m going to make some lasagna now…It’s probably one of my favorite foods.

  2. Ο/Η Ivy
    Twitter:
    λέει:

    Emiline, hope your kids will eat everything but I spoil them and can’t leave them to starve.

  3. Ο/Η Dee λέει:

    My five year old is brilliant with veg, but it really irks me that we can’t have ANY chile in our food *sigh* Thanks for the intersting fact about lasagne and Greece, and the lasagne recipe, of course :)

  4. Ο/Η Ivy
    Twitter:
    λέει:

    Dee, hi and welcome. Hey, you really are lucky having a child that eats veggies. Thanks for stopping by.

  5. Ο/Η Megan λέει:

    The lasagna looks awesome. That sauce sound divine!

  6. Ο/Η Núria λέει:

    Lasaña is always welcome to my table but I never think about it… why could that be? Instead, I always end up cooking spaguetis or macaroni. Today we had macaroni… I also have some lasaña sheets in my pantry, I should do your recipe :D

  7. Ο/Η Bobby λέει:

    Hello Ivy, how are you?

    I love lasanga, sometimes I think I could eat it everynight of the week. This sounds much healthier than the version I usually make though so thats a huge plus. I noticed you are using anthotyro cheese in this recipe, what kind of cheese would you compare it to?

  8. Ο/Η Ivy
    Twitter:
    λέει:

    Hi Megan. Great to see you here and hope to see you again soon.

    Hi Nuria, that happens to me as well. We eat spaghetti at least once a week and remember to make lasagna after a long time.

    Hey Bobby. I’m fine thanks. Bobby thanks for asking about Anthotyro. The name anthos means blossom and tyros means cheese. Therefore “blossom cheese” is named for the way the curds blossom as they are stirred to make other cheese. If you like you may see my post when I made Halloumi: http://kopiaste.org/2008/04/sa.....-halloumi/ Anthotyro is an exquisite, lightly salted fresh white soft cheese. They usually compare it to ricotta. I have tried ricotta a few times but I find it tasteless whereas with anthotyro you can’t stop eating it.

  9. Ο/Η Deborah λέει:

    Ohhh, this has me craving lasagna now!

  10. Ο/Η srilekha λέει:

    wow! yummy! the dish looking so good!
    Check out my blog for this moth event and do participate in it!

  11. Ο/Η Bellini Valli λέει:

    I am loving this healthy version of lasagna sis. I can see we are getting into comforting dishes fast!!!!!!!!!!!

  12. Ο/Η Ivy
    Twitter:
    λέει:

    Hi Deborah. Nice to see you here. Thanks for passing by.

    Thanks Srilekha. Shall definitely contribute to your event. Check out mine as well.

    Hey sis, with all that butter I have been using lately making those delicious cakes, I have to cook a few healthier dishes to maintain a balance :P

  13. Ο/Η abby λέει:

    i too love lasagne and regularly try out different versions. i ,love the flavours you’ve chosen – thanks for sharing with presto pasta nights!

  14. Ο/Η Ivy
    Twitter:
    λέει:

    Hi Abby, thanks for hosting the event.

  15. Ο/Η courtney λέει:

    Oh that lasagana looks wonderful. I love making lasagna because there are always leftovers that taste better the next day!

  16. Ο/Η Jude λέει:

    Never heard of this cheese before, thanks for the info and recipe! I already like it for being low in fat.

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