Lunch with Friends

Greek Pastitsio (Lasagne), Spinach Pie and Marshmallow Brownies

Where do I begin?

We had friends over for lunch. Nice way to spend the day before I have to go back to work tomorrow!

I have to post this but I’m so full from stuffing my face over lunch today as well as being utterly depressed about having to go back to work tomorrow that I think I can only manage to tell you what we ate and post the photos…leave the recipes for another time.

I will say that my handsome man’s nonna gave us some of her home made pasta and I used that to make The Pastitsio, which is the Greek version of lasagne. The difference being that instead of using lasagne sheets you use long spaghetti – pretty thick and tube like – and top with a bechamel sauce, making sure that the meat sauce is not too saucy…there you go, no recipe required!

I will, however post the recipe for The Spanakopita…maybe tomorrow. It’s delicious and just like my mother, I never use phyllo pastry, but make my own. However, I have recently found one imported from Greece in my local continental supermarket (I may never make my own again, it is so good!)

I have also already posted The Brownie recipe but this time I topped it with marshmallow fluff and choc chips and placed under the grill (the broiler?).

Anyway, right now I feel like I’ve eaten so much that even my fingers are struggling to type.

We started with a selection of dips, garlic crackers, fennel salami, feta cheese and amazing marinated baby figs. We then indulged in the utterly yummy spanakopita fresh from the oven. The Pastitsio was next and it was so tasty with the home made pasta that I think I will never buy store bought pasta again. I eat salad all year round so I made a green salad with cos lettuce, cucumber, parsley and parmesan cheese. Brownies, as above, for dessert with coffee.

WOW! I’m off to bed and it’s not even 8pm!

I Say Eggplant…You Say Aubergine

Eggplant Parmagiana

It’s difficult to remember who calls ‘what’ what…if that makes sense…

Eggplant = Aubergine

Coriander = Cilantro

Spring Onion = Green Onions = Scallions

Zucchinis = Courgettes

You get my meaning here. I tend to write in Australian English which by definition is British English but some of our food names are the same as American not British and sometimes it’s the other way around.

I also always use Aust/Eng spelling so many red lines appear under so many of my words as I type.

Some things, however are always the same and that is the joy one gets from eating simple dishes that taste amazing in the comfort of ones home…in any language.

Tonight’s simple dish of eggplant parmigiana is such a dish and if you will excuse me, I’m going to leave typing this for a while in order to eat this very dish with my very handsome man…

If you’re interested, that took around 30 mins to serve up, eat and chat…really was wonderful 🙂

Ingredients

  • olive oil cooking spray
  • 4 small eggplant, thinly sliced
  • 700g jar Italian tomato pasta sauce
  • 1/2 cup basil leaves, chopped
  • 140g parmesan cheese, grated
  • 180g cherry bocconcini cheese, torn in half
  • 1 cup fresh white breadcrumbs

Method

Preheat oven to 200°C. Lightly grease a 5.5cm-deep, 20cm x 28cm (base) baking dish. Heat a barbecue grill or chargrill pan over high heat.

Spray both sides of eggplant slices generously with oil. Grill eggplant, in batches, for 2 minutes each side or until charred and tender. Remove to a plate. Spray with oil.

Place one-third of the eggplant over base of dish. Top with one-third of the pasta sauce, basil, parmesan and bocconcini. Repeat layers twice with remaining eggplant, sauce, basil, parmesan and bocconcini. Top with breadcrumbs. Spray with oil. Bake, uncovered, for 25 to 30 minutes or until bubbling around the edges and golden. Stand for 10 minutes. Serve.