This corn pasticcio (baked pasta) is another one of those staple dishes that my grandma Pancha used to make often. It is also appealing both to kids and adults, so it was a popular option for family get-togethers. While I was cooking it this weekend, I thought of grandma lots. And while sharing it with friends and seeing them enjoy it, I got a glimpse once more of why grandma enjoyed cooking so much: she loved caring for others and that was her way of showing it best! Here’s the end result, right before we devoured it:
700 grams of fettuccine pasta
2 cans of cream of corn
1 can of corn niblets
350 grams of mozzarella cheese, grated
150 grams of parmesan cheese, grated
Prepare the Bechamel sauce. Preheat the oven to 350. Cook the pasta in large pot of boiling water according to the instructions of the package. Once the pasta is cooked, drain the hot water and keep pasta in the pot with enough cold water to cover it completely. Lightly grease (with butter) a Pyrex or baking dish and begin assembling your pasticcio (if you wan to make sure you use the right amount of each ingredient, simply divide each one into 3 equal parts, as you will be creating 3 layers of pasticcio): Start with a layer of pasta, followed by a few spoonfuls of cream of corn (spread this gently with the back of your spoon to cover the pasta as evenly as possible). Top with a few spoonfuls of the corn niblets and then add a layer of the Bechamel sauce (again, spreading it over the pasta with the back of your spoon). Add a generous layer of grated mozzarella and top with a few spoonfuls of the grated parmesan. Repeat this procedure 3 times, ending with the cheese layers, making sure to cover generously with the parmesan. Cover the baking dish with aluminum foil and bake for about 30 minutes, then take off the foil, turn the heat up to broil and cook for a couple of minutes until the cheese browns slightly.