Pastitsio: the mouthwatering recipe for Greek baked pasta

Total time: 2H15
Difficulty: Low
Serves: 8 people
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By Cookist

Pastitsio is a hearty Greek baked pasta dish that's packed with flavor. It's a delicious comfort food similar to lasagna but with a Greek twist. Pastitsio is made with layers of tender pasta topped in a rich tomato and meat sauce seasoned with nutmeg and cloves, creamy béchamel sauce, and plenty of tangy, salty kefalotyri cheese.

It's a great make-ahead recipe you can put together and bake later in the week, making it perfect for folks looking for tasty meal prep options. Rich, fragrant, and incredibly satisfying, pastitsio is one recipe you'll want to add to your recipe collection.

Tips for making Greek Baked Pasta

No red onions? Use brown or yellow onions or shallots.

Use a dry red wine like

Kefalotyri cheese is available at Greek and Mediterranean specialist stores. If you can't get a hold of it, substitute parmesan or pecorino.

You can also use ziti, penne, or regular bucatini in this recipe.

Whole milk tastes best, but you can use low-fat or plant-based milk instead.

Use an inexpensive dry red wine like Cabernet Sauvignon, Sangiovese, or Merlot, or try a dry Greek red like Xinomavro or Agiorgitiko.


What to Serve with Pastitsio

Any Greek or Mediterranean veggie dishes will go well with pastitsio. Try a Greek salad, couscous, fried zucchini, eggplant moussaka, or Greek potatoes.

How to Store Pastitsio

Cover and store pastitsio in the fridge for up to 4 days. Reheat it in the microwave until warmed through. You can also reheat Greek baked pasta in the oven at 350F until heated.

for the sauce
Extra virgin olive oil
2 tbsp
garlic, finely minced
3 to 4 cloves
red onions, finely chopped
Beef mince
2 lbs
Dry red wine
3/4 cup
crushed tomato
1 28-ounce can
beef bouillon cubes, crumbled
Tomato paste
2 tbsp
White sugar
1 tsp
Bay leaf
Cinnamon powder
1/2 tsp
1 stick
Ground cloves
1/4 tsp
salt and pepper to taste
for the béchamel sauce
7 tbsp
All-purpose flour
3/4 cup
Whole Milk
4 cups
freshly grated nutmeg
1/8 tsp
salt to taste
kefalotyri Greek cheese
3 ounces
Egg yolks
for the pasta
14 ounces
feta, crumbled
4 ounces
Egg whites
for the topping
kefalotyri Greek cheese
3 ounces

How to Make Pastitsio

Heat the oil in a Dutch oven. Sauté the garlic and onions for 2 to 3 minutes until the onions become soft.

Stir in the beef and sauté until it browns. Break up any large chunks.

Stir in the wine and cook for 2 to 3 minutes until most of the wine has evaporated.

Stir in tomato, crumbled stock cubes, and tomato paste.

Add the sugar, bay leaf, spices, salt, and pepper. Lower the heat, and simmer for 45 to 60 minutes. Stir occasionally.

Once most of the liquid has evaporated, take the pot off the heat and leave the sauce to cool to about room temperature.

Heat the butter in a large skillet over medium. Whisk in the flour until fully combined.

Continue whisking and add half the milk.

Once a paste forms, whisk in the rest of the milk. Cook for 5 minutes, stirring regularly until thickened.

Add the grated nutmeg.

Take the pot off the heat. Mix in cheese and salt.

Cool for several minutes then beat in the egg yolks. Cover the pot with a lid and set aside.

Cook the pasta following the instructions on the box, minus one minute. Drain, then cool for 3 minutes. Add in the feta.

Mix well. Preheat your oven to 350F.

Arrange the pasta in a casserole dish so most of the pasta is facing in the same direction.

Cover the pasta with the meat sauce.

Pour the béchamel sauce over the meat sauce.

Top with cheese.

Bake for 30 minutes or until golden brown.

Remove from oven and cool for 10 minutes then slice and serve.

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