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Pastitsio from EricasRecipes.com


Greek food, baked pasta casserole with gorgeous layers of meat, pasta, and bechamel.
Prep Time 30 mins
Cook Time 40 mins
Total Time 1 hr 10 mins
Course Main Course
Cuisine casserole, cozy casserole, familymeal, Greek food
Servings 6


For the meat layer

  • 1 lb lean ground hamburg
  • ½ cup chopped onion
  • 2 cloves garlic minced
  • 8 oz can tomato sauce
  • ¼ cup dry red wine
  • 1 Tbs chopped Italian flat-leaf parsley
  • ½ tsp dried oregano
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • ¼ tsp cinnamon
  • ¼ fresh cracked pepper
  • 1 egg lightly beaten

For the bechamel layer

  • 2 Tbs unsalted butter
  • 2 Tbs all-purpose flour
  • cup milk
  • 2 eggs lightly beaten
  • ¼ cup fresh grated parmesan
  • ¼ tsp fresh cracked pepper
  • ½ tsp kosher salt
  • 1 Tbs chopped Italian flat-leaf parsley

For the pasta Layer

  • ¼ cup fresh grated parmesan
  • 8 oz tubular macaroni or ziti
  • 1 egg lightly beaten
  • ¼ cup milk
  • ¼ tsp kosher salt


  • In a large skillet, cook meat, onion, and garlic until meat is no longer pink. Drain fat (if necessary). Stir in the tomato sauce, wine, parsley, oregano, salt, and cinnamon. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer gently 10 min. Set aside to cool.
  • For the sauce, melt the butter in a medium saucepan. Stir in the flour and cook, whisking, 1 minute. Slowly whisk in the milk. With a wooden spoon, cook and stir until thickened enough to coat the back of the spoon. Remove from the heat, and stir in the cheese, salt, pepper, parsley. Set aside.
  • Cook the macaroni in heavily salted water to al dente. Drain and toss with egg, milk, cheese, and 1/4 t salt.
  • Gradually stir the meat mixture into an egg (this is called tempering so the egg doesn't scramble). Separately, stir the bechamel sauce into the last 2 eggs (also tempering).
  • Heat oven to 350F.
  • To assemble, layer 1/3 the macaroni mixture into a 8x8x2 baking dish. Follow with all of the meat mixture, then the rest of the macaroni. Top with the sauce. Sprinkle with additional cinnamon. Bake at 350F for 30-35 min or until set. Let stand 5 min before serving.