Pastitsada: Corfu’s Culinary Classic

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You might have seen the Corfu episode of ‘The Greek Islands with Julia Bradbury’ on ITV – and we thought it only fitting to share with you one of our favourite Corfiot recipes from one of our local cooks, Virginie. One of Corfu’s greatest treasures is its unique food culture – and we’re loving the island’s signature dish, Pastitsada, the traditional Sunday dinner for island locals. It’s full of exotic spices and has Italian influences with the spaghetti, but each and every Corfiot family will have their own special recipe for the dish.

Virginie is one of our villa chefs in Corfu, and is currently cooking for a range of our villas across the island. A self-confessed foodie, Virginie has had plenty of experience working professionally with food. She co-owned, and cooked for, a traditional taverna on the island for 20 years, and has been cooking with CV Villa properties for the last two. You can find out more about our villas with cook service here.

Recipe for Pastitsada


  • 1kg of beef or 1 rooster
  • 2 chopped onions
  • 2-3 cloves of chopped garlic
  • 1 glass of olive oil
  • 1 glass of white wine
  • 2 tbsp tomato paste
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 1 pack of spaghetti (bucatini)
  • Paprika
  • Pinch of salt and black pepper


  1. Heat the oil in a pan and deep fry the meat until browned.
  2. Remove the meat from the pan and put to the side. Using the same pan and oil, add in the onions and garlic and mix together. Fry until browned, then add the meat back in.
  3. Add the paprika, salt, pepper and tomato paste to the saucepan mix and stir well, then pour in the wine.
  4. Add enough boiling water to cover and reduce the heat, letting the ingredients simmer for around an hour. Around ten minutes before the end, boil a saucepan of water for the pasta and cook according to packet instructions.
  5. Drain the pasta and take the meat mix off the heat. The sauce should have now thickened and the meat should be tender.
  6. Plate up the pasta and spoon the meat mixture on top.
  7. Serve with grated cheese of your choice (Greek Kefalotyri cheese is a popular choice when in Corfu).