Greek Pasta Bake Pastitsio
My Greek Pasta Bake Pastitsio recipe is meaty, hearty and absolutely delicious dinner with its layers of pasta, ground meat, and béchamel cheese sauce on top.
Do you like Greek food? Perhaps, you’ve never had it… that’s okay! Today I wanted to share with you a ridiculously delicious meal Pastitsio! Oh man y’all this is truly a treat for you today!
Pastitsio, it’s what I like to call stick-to-your-ribs-ultimate-comfort-kinda-food. I have been on a comfort food rampage lately. Green Chili mac & cheese, Apple Cider Chicken Chili, Biscuits and Gravy and now Pastitsio. I am sure it has to do with the weather changing and the start of fall but seriously y’all all I want to do is come home put on my slippers and enjoy a satisfying meal. Hopefully you’re feeling it too because this Pastitsio is what I call comfort.
So, I know you’re probably thinking ‘what on earth is Pastitsio?’ It’s a dish that has become a family favorite traditional Greek dinner recipe. It’s a Greek version of lasagna and instead of a marinara sauce, this dish has a white creamy bechamel (cheese) sauce with a hint of cinnamon. And y’all when I make this recipe I always double it! You can make it early in the day and then freeze the second batch for another quick easy dinner. Also, I gotta tell ya, y’all trust me when I say, sometimes things are better reheated and this dish doesn’t disappoint there either! I always try to make it the night before, and then warm up individual slices when ready to eat (not that that always works for me). So, y’all just know that if you are eating it fresh out of the oven, the pasta dish will be more “loose”; BUT it will be just as delicious either way you decide to make it!
Make the meat sauce.
Make the cheese sauce and cook the noodles.
Layer in dish.
Cool and reheat later or enjoy right then!
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- 1/2 cup (1 stick) + 6 tablespoons butter, Divided
- 1 (1 cup) large white onion, chopped
- 1 Tbsp minced garlic
- 1 1/2 pounds lean ground beef
- 1/4 cup tomato paste
- 1/2 cup dry red wine
- 1/2 cup beef broth
- 1 Tbsp dried parsley
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tsp pepper
- 1 cup flour
- 3 cups milk
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 1 tsp ground nutmeg, divided
- 1/2 tsp cinnamon
- 7 eggs, lightly beaten, divided
- 2 cups grated Kefalotyri (or Parmesan cheese if you really cannot find the Greek cheese), divided
- 1 pound dry ziti (or penne) pasta
- In a large skillet, melt 2 Tbsps butter, cook the onion and minced garlic until soft.
- Add ground beef, stirring to break up beef and cook until browned.
- Add in the tomato paste, red wine, beef broth, parsley, 1/2 tsp salt, 1/2 tsp pepper and stir to mix.
- Cover and simmer over low heat for 20 minutes.
- Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil.
- Add pasta and cook 8 - 10 minutes; drain and return to pan.
- Melt 4 Tbsp butter in a small pan and cook for 2 minutes.
- Pour the butter of the pasta, Add 1/4 cup cheese, 1/4 tsp nutmeg, 1/4 tsp salt, /4 tsp pepper and toss well.
- Allow to cool.
- In a small bowl, add 3 eggs and beat lightly; add eggs to pasta, tops to coat and set aside.
- Melt 1/2 cup (1 stick) of butter in a saucepan; stir in flour and cook for 2 minutes.
- Pour in the milk and heavy cream; stirring constantly cook until thick and smooth, about 5 - 7 minutes.
- Add 3/4 tsp nutmeg, cinnamon, 1/4 tsp salt and 1/4 tsp pepper and 3/4 cup cheese; mix.
- Remove from heat. In s small bowl slightly beat 4 eggs, temper the eggs. This means take about 1/2 cup of the cheese sauce and add it to the eggs, mix immediately so you don’t cook the eggs. Once mixed thoroughly whisk the eggs into the cheese sauce and mix well.
- Next add 1/2 cup cheese sauce to the meat mixture and stir to combine.
- Preheat the over to 350F.
- Grease a 9 x 13 baking dish.
- Spoon half of the pasta evenly into the bottom of the dish.
- Top with all of the meat sauce.
- Top that with the remaining pasta.
- Pour the cheese sauce on top and spread it so that it completely covers the pasta. Sprinkle remaining parmesan cheese on top.
- Bake uncovered for 1 hour.
- Let stand 10 minutes before cutting or let cool and reheat later as needed.