Pastitsio Recipe

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Meat Sauce Ingredients

1lb Ground Beef

1lb Ground Lamb

1lb Pasta (Penne or other long tubular pasta)

3 tbsp Olive Oil

1 large Onion chopped

1/2 cup Dry Red Wine

1 tbsp minced Garlic

1 tbsp ground Cinnamon

1 tbsp fresh Oregano

1 tsp Cayenne powder

2 tsp Salt

1 tsp Pepper

1 28oz can crushed Tomato

Bechamel Ingredients

1 1/2 cups Milk

1 cup Heavy Cream

4 tbsp Unsalted Butter

1/4 cup Flour

1/4 tsp ground Nutmeg

1 1/2 cups grated Kefalotiri Cheese (can substitute Parmesan)

2 beaten Eggs

2/3 cup Greek Yogurt

1 tsp Salt

1 tsp Pepper


Start the meat sauce first by sauteing the onions in olive oil for 5 minutes.  Add ground meat and brown thoroughly for 10 minutes.  Drain juices and return to pan.  Add red wine and bring back to a simmer.  Add garlic, cinnamon, oregano, and cayenne and stir for 5 minutes.  Add tomatoes, salt, and pepper and simmer on low for 45 minutes.  Stir occasionally.

About halfway through the 45 minute meat simmer, start the bechamel sauce and also preheat the oven to 350.  Plan for the pasta to be finished around the same time as the meat sauce.

Heat 2 saucepans over medium heat.  In one, combine and heat milk and cream until just a simmer.  In the other, melt the butter and stir in the flour and mixed and smooth.  Combine the two pots and whisk on low for about 5 minutes until thick and smooth.  Add nutmeg, salt, and pepper.  Once mixed in, add 3/4 cup of grated cheese.  Remove from heat and stir in a scoop of the meat sauce.  Let sit and cool for 10 minutes.  Stir in raw beaten eggs and yogurt and set aside for a few minutes until assembled.

Combine cooked pasta and meat sauce and thoroughly mix.  Pour into final baking dish and cover with bechamel sauce.  Sprinkle remaining 3/4 cup of cheese on top.  Bake uncovered at 350 for up to an hour.  Start to check at 40 minutes and bake until there is a spotted browned crust.

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