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A slice of Pastitsio on a white plate.

Pastitsio

Herbs and Flour
Greek Pastitsio or Pastichio is Greek comfort food at its best! This Greek layered casserole dish is compromised of luscious layers- pasta layers, an aromatic meat sauce layer, and a lusciously creamy and thick bechamel sauce.
5 from 4 votes
Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 1 hr
Total Time 1 hr 15 mins
Course Dinner
Cuisine Greek
Servings 12
Calories 457 kcal

Ingredients
  

Meat Sauce

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 onion finely chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic minced (optional)
  • 1 lb ground beef
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 tablespoons parsley chopped

Pasta

  • 3/4 package Greek bucatini pasta (375g), (I use Misko No. 2)
  • 1 cup grated mitzithra or Parmesan cheese
  • 3 egg whites (reserve yolks for the bechamel)

Béchamel Sauce

  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 3/4 cup flour
  • 5 cups milk
  • 1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 3 egg yolks
  • 2 tablespoons grated mitzithra or Parmesan cheese

Topping

  • 2 tablespoons bread crumbs
  • 2 tablespoons grated mitzithra or Parmesan cheese

Instructions
 

  • Lightly grease a deep 9x13 or similar sized pan with olive oil or butter and set aside.

Meat Sauce

  • Heat olive oil in a large skillet pan over medium heat and add the onions and garlic. Saute for 2-3 minutes until they begin to soften.
  • Add the ground beef and brown it, breaking up any large chunks as you stir and cook it.
  • Once the beef is browned, add the tomato paste, cinnamon stick, parsley, salt and pepper to the meat. Add the water and bring the meat sauce to a boil, stirring frequently until the water evaporates and the meat is cooked. Remove the cinnamon stick, set aside and let cool.

Pasta

  • Meanwhile, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil and add the pasta. Cook according to package directions and then drain.
  • Place the drained pasta back in the pot and add the mitzithra (or parmesan) and egg whites, tossing to coat the pasta.

Béchamel

  • In a large saucepan, melt the butter and add the flour, stirring until it makes a thick paste or roux. Add the milk slowly, whisking continuously as you do so. Whisk until the béchamel sauce thickens and coats the back of a spoon, then remove it from the heat. Whisk in the egg yolks, mizithra, salt and nutmeg.
  • Let the mixture cool for a few minutes while you begin to assemble the pastitsio.

Assemble the pastitsio and bake:

  • Preheat oven to 350F.
  • Place half of the pasta into the greased baking pan and arrange them so that they are evenly spread.
  • Spread the meat sauce layer on top of the pasta, spreading it to make an even layer.
  • Add the remaining pasta on top of the meat sauce layer.
  • Spread the béchamel on top of the pasta layer, spreading it evenly. Sprinkle bread crumbs and mitzithra over top of the béchamel.
  • Bake the pastitsio in the oven for 45 minutes or until a nice golden crust forms. Remove from oven and let rest for 15 minutes so it can set before slicing.

Nutrition

Calories: 457kcalCarbohydrates: 37gProtein: 20gFat: 25gSaturated Fat: 12gPolyunsaturated Fat: 1gMonounsaturated Fat: 9gTrans Fat: 1gCholesterol: 114mgSodium: 365mgPotassium: 394mgFiber: 2gSugar: 7gVitamin A: 643IUVitamin C: 2mgCalcium: 249mgIron: 2mg
Keyword bechamel, greek food, meat sauce
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