Total Greek Yoghurt has been a presence in my life since I was a little girl. It is, after all, the most popular brand of yoghurt in Greece where I grew up and continues to be my (only) choice in the UK. I always have a pot in the fridge, usually the 0% one as I tend to eat it for breakfast an awful lot but I also use the Classic in cooking and baking .
So it is a pleasure to review the Total Greek Yoghurt Cookbook on the blog and a welcome surprise that far from being an one-note book it has varied and delicious recipes from starters through to desserts. I have been a fan of author Sophie Michell since her Cook Yourself Thin days (anyone else remember that TV show? It was chock-full with talent, Gizzie Erskine and Harry Eastwood among them). Here she draws inspiration from Greece (where her family have a home), but also Middle East, Asia and from Total’s own recipe archives to create dishes that look and sound incredibly tempting. I have road-tested one of Sophie’s recipes – Pastitsio – scroll down to see the results.
Total are generously giving away a copy of their cookbook and a whole bunch of their products to one lucky Supergolden Bakes reader. Scroll to the bottom of the post and follow the instructions on the Gleam form for a chance to win.
Pastitsio is a Greek classic, a layered pasta and meat dish much like Lasagna – equally delicious and tremendously calorific! Sophie has substituted the incredibly rich béchamel which normally covers Pastitsio with a much less heart-attack inducing layer of yoghurt. The resulting dish is remarkably tasty and obviously a lot healthier. Normally this is baked in one large dish but I decided to make individual portions instead. I have tweaked the recipe slightly – Sophie mixes the meat sauce with the pasta and tops it with the yoghurt but I have kept the layers separate as is traditional. Although the recipe doesn’t include it, I think some crumbled feta cheese would be a nice addition in the topping.
For the meat sauce
750g | 26oz lean minced lamb
1 large onion, finely diced
2-4 garlic cloves, minced
1 large can chopped tomatoes (Sophie uses 400ml/14oz passata)
4 tbsp tomato paste
1 tbsp dark brown sugar
2 bay leaves
1 cinnamon stick (or 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon)
1 tsp dried oregano
handful fresh thyme
250ml | 1 cup beef stock (my addition)
125ml | 1/2 cup white wine (Sophie uses red)
Salt and pepper to season
2-3 tbsp olive oil
For the pasta and topping
500g | 14.6oz penne pasta (or macaroni)
4 egg yolks
500g | 14.6oz Classic Greek Yoghurt
200g | 7oz grated Parmesan (or Kefalotyri)
1/2 tsp freshly grated nutmeg
- Heat the olive in a large saucepan and add the lamb, garlic and onions. Season with salt and pepper and cook over medium heat until the meat is browned and onion softened. Add the cinnamon, sugar, bay leaves, thyme and oregano and stir.
- Add the tomato paste, chopped tomatoes, stock and wine and simmer for 40m-1h until sauce is thickened. Remove the bay leaves and cinnamon stick and set aside.
- Preheat the oven to 180C (350F).
- Mix the egg yolks, yoghurt, nutmeg and half the cheese.
- Cook the pasta until al dente, rinse and drain. Add a few spoonfuls of the yogurt and mix thoroughly.
- Divide the pasta between 6 (or up to 8 depending on size) small ovenproof dishes or use one large, fairly deep dish. Pack the pasta down with the back of a spoon to fill about halfway up.
- Top with an even layer of meat sauce and finally spread a layer of the yoghurt on top. Sprinkle with the remaining grated cheese.
- Place on a large tray (in case of leaks) and bake for 15-20 minutes or until the top is browned.
Terms and conditions
> Giveaway open to UK residents over the age of 18 only.
> One winner will receive a copy of the Total Greek Yoghurt Cookbook and the following
TOTAL 2% GREEK YOGHURT 2 X 500G
TOTAL GREEK YOGHURT, CLASSIC 2 X 500G
I KILO – Total Greek yoghurt CLASIC
Split pots 2 x each flavour
Fruyo 2 x each flavour
> The winner will be randomly selected, announced in the Gleam giveaway box and contacted via their provided e-mail address shortly afterwards. Please claim your prize within 4 days of being notified.