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Pastitsio (Oamc)

Ingredients:

  • Meat sauce
  • enough olive oil, to just coat the bottom of a large pot
  • 2large onions, finely chopped
  • 3garlic cloves, minced
  • 2lbs lean ground meat (I often use a combo of beef and pork, lamb would be good too, but go heavier on the beef)
  • 2(16 ounce) cans diced tomatoes with juice (concasse)
  • 1⁄3cup chopped pitted kalamata olive (optional)
  • 1teaspoon salt
  • 1⁄2teaspoon pepper
  • 1teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1bay leaf
  • 1⁄2cup red wine
  • 1cinnamon stick, broken in two
  • Pasta
  • 1lb penne or 1 lb rigatoni pasta
  • 3tablespoons melted butter
  • 2cups whole milk
  • 2eggs, beaten
  • 1⁄2cup grated kefalotiri or 1⁄2 cup romano cheese or 1⁄2 cup parmesan cheese
  • Bechamel Sauce
  • 6tablespoons butter
  • 1⁄3cup flour
  • 4cups milk
  • 1⁄2teaspoon salt
  • 1⁄8teaspoon pepper
  • 1⁄4teaspoon nutmeg
  • 3eggs
  • 1⁄2lb grated kefalotiri or 1⁄2 lb romano cheese or 1⁄2 lb parmesan cheese, divided

Directions:

  • For the meat sauce, put some olive oil in a large pot; saute onion until lightly browned; add garlic; add meat and cook until brown, crumbling with a fork; add remaining meat sauce ingredients to skillet; mix well; cover and simmer for 1 hour, stirring occasionally, until quite thick; let mixture cool; remove and discard cinnamon stick and bay leaf.
  • Prepare pasta by boiling until al dente in plenty of boiling, salted water; drain and place pasta in a large bowl; add butter, milk, eggs and 1/2 cup cheese; gently stir to coat; set aside.
  • To prepare bechamel sauce, melt butter over medium heat in a saucepan; stir in flour until smooth, cook, whisking for 2 minutes; gradually add milk, stirring, until thickened; lower heat; add salt, pepper and nutmeg; remove from heat.
  • In medium-sized bowl, beat 3 eggs; slowly add hot cream sauce to eggs; stir thoroughly so eggs don’t curdle.
  • Preheat oven to 350°F and butter or oil (with olive oil) a large baking pan (my pan is about 18" x 10").
  • Empty 1/2 of the penne mixture over bottom of pan; cover evenly with all of meat sauce; sprinkle 1/3 of the cheese over meat sauce; add remaining penne mixture, spreading evenly; sprinkle another 1/3 of the cheese over top; pour bechamel sauce evenly over entire casserole; top with remaining cheese.
  • Bake until bechamel sauce sets and has golden-brown patches across top, approximately 45 minutes to 1 hour; cool at least 20 minutes before cutting into pieces for serving.
  • Freezer Notes: Once the baked pastitsio has completely cooked, cut serving-size pieces, double-wrap in foil and freeze. Defrost in the usual manner and reheat in microwave (or oven) for a delicious, quick meal, when there’s little time to cook and dinner is ready and waiting in the freezer!

Reviews:

  • Chabear01

    Well, lesson learned on this one…use a lasagna pan this cooked over my pan onto oven floor…grrr. Otherwise this darned good Greek Comfort food. Thank You for sharing this recipe.

  • chia

    this is a great family dinner and i only made a few changes to lower the fat. i cooked the meat sauce but drained the fat before i added the tomatoes and the other ingredients. to the pasta i only added 1 c of skim milk and 4 tbsp butter, that was more than enough. i made the bechamel with skim milk too, and for the cheese i used a mixture of romano, parmesan and feta. i browned the top under the broiler for 2 minutes at the end. the first few portions didn’t hold their shape, but as it cooled it was much easier to serve. this is labor intensive but worth it, everyone had seconds!

  • Sudie

    I also used elbows, because that’s what I had, and lowfat milk. I let it sit on the stove for about 20 minutes before cutting it, and it was easy to serve that way. Very delicious meal, a hit with the whole family!

  • cassiesmydog

    This was wonderful. No need to go out for Pastitsio again. I can now make my own. I made 1/2 of the recipe and used elbow noodles and added an 8 ounce can of tomatoe sauce. I did not have cinnamon stick so i used 1/2 teaspoon of ground cinnamon. We will be having this often. You do need to let this sit for at least 20 minutes before you cut it. This would be great for a party because it makes a lot and it does stay warm for a long time.

  • Bayhill

    We had never had pastitsio before, but after reading all of the rave reviews I couldn’t wait to try it. I’m very glad that I did…we loved it! Even though there are several steps involved in the preparation, it is easy to make and it makes a lot. I halved the recipe and used a combination of beef and pork. Also, I used whole-wheat penne pasta, the kalamata olives, and Parmesan cheese. We are both looking forward to the leftovers tomorrow. Thank you for sharing!! *Made for ZWT6 Xtra Hot Dishes*

  • GibbyLou

    This was a wonderful dish though I had some issues with the construction. First of all I wasn't sure if the bechamel sauce was thick enough and then I forgot to add it to the eggs. The sauce seeped into the rest of the dish and I wasn't sure if it should. I let the dish sit for 30 minutes before slicing and after getting the first couple of pieces out I noticed it was swimming in liquid, so I drained it before removing the rest. I did drain the meat mixture before adding the tomatoes. Despite my issues this was delicious and second helpings were in order! Thanks for sharing.

  • mommyoffour

    This was really good. We love all pasta dishes, but his one stands out because of the béchamel sauce on the top, really good. Thank you for sharing with us.

  • Cookie16

    Excellent. It has a gorgeous flavor from the seasoning. I used ground turkey, 1/3 of the butter in the pasta and skim milk throughout. Also, used parmesan cheese. My husband wants me to make again with ground beef and lamb. I think we actually have 14-16 servings from this. My only trouble was trying to find 2 pans that could fit this properly. Eventually put it in a 9 x 13 and an 8 x 8. Both overflowed slightly. Thanks Evelyn for a meal that everyone likes.

  • mommyoffour

    This was really good. We love all pasta dishes, but his one stands out because of the béchamel sauce on the top, really good. Thank you for sharing with us.

  • GibbyLou

    This was a wonderful dish though I had some issues with the construction. First of all I wasn't sure if the bechamel sauce was thick enough and then I forgot to add it to the eggs. The sauce seeped into the rest of the dish and I wasn't sure if it should. I let the dish sit for 30 minutes before slicing and after getting the first couple of pieces out I noticed it was swimming in liquid, so I drained it before removing the rest. I did drain the meat mixture before adding the tomatoes. Despite my issues this was delicious and second helpings were in order! Thanks for sharing.

  • Cookie16

    Excellent. It has a gorgeous flavor from the seasoning. I used ground turkey, 1/3 of the butter in the pasta and skim milk throughout. Also, used parmesan cheese. My husband wants me to make again with ground beef and lamb. I think we actually have 14-16 servings from this. My only trouble was trying to find 2 pans that could fit this properly. Eventually put it in a 9 x 13 and an 8 x 8. Both overflowed slightly. Thanks Evelyn for a meal that everyone likes.

  • Bayhill

    We had never had pastitsio before, but after reading all of the rave reviews I couldn’t wait to try it. I’m very glad that I did…we loved it! Even though there are several steps involved in the preparation, it is easy to make and it makes a lot. I halved the recipe and used a combination of beef and pork. Also, I used whole-wheat penne pasta, the kalamata olives, and Parmesan cheese. We are both looking forward to the leftovers tomorrow. Thank you for sharing!! *Made for ZWT6 Xtra Hot Dishes*

  • cassiesmydog

    This was wonderful. No need to go out for Pastitsio again. I can now make my own. I made 1/2 of the recipe and used elbow noodles and added an 8 ounce can of tomatoe sauce. I did not have cinnamon stick so i used 1/2 teaspoon of ground cinnamon. We will be having this often. You do need to let this sit for at least 20 minutes before you cut it. This would be great for a party because it makes a lot and it does stay warm for a long time.

  • DJM

    We have made this three time now; a five star winner. This does not fit in any 9×13 pan ; it fits perfectly in an Emeril Henry lasagna dish, which is larger and deeper . I have also used an attractive aluminum roasting pan. Adding a 1/2 teaspoon of ground cinnamon and a pinch of ground cloves brings it to the flavor of Greek restaurant food in my area. I have made this with Original EggBeaters to accommodate a friend's egg yolk allergy and it is still excellent. I have used a mix of ground meats; now prefer 1 lb. beef and 1/2 lb. each of pork and lamb.

  • Sara 76

    I can see why this is the top rated pastitsio on Food.com! It was amazing! I made it exactly as written, and my family LOVED it! I woke up this morning to find my 10 year old son eating a big bowl of the leftovers for breakfast! Lol I have always used ground cinnamon in my meat sauce for moussaka, but I really loved the flavour of the cinnamon stick in this sauce, so I will be switching to your method in the future! Thankyou once again for bringing a little bit of Greece into our home 🙂

  • Sara 76

    I can see why this is the top rated pastitsio on Food.com! It was amazing! I made it exactly as written, and my family LOVED it! I woke up this morning to find my 10 year old son eating a big bowl of the leftovers for breakfast! Lol I have always used ground cinnamon in my meat sauce for moussaka, but I really loved the flavour of the cinnamon stick in this sauce, so I will be switching to your method in the future! Thankyou once again for bringing a little bit of Greece into our home 🙂

  • Sudie

    I also used elbows, because that’s what I had, and lowfat milk. I let it sit on the stove for about 20 minutes before cutting it, and it was easy to serve that way. Very delicious meal, a hit with the whole family!

  • chia

    this is a great family dinner and i only made a few changes to lower the fat. i cooked the meat sauce but drained the fat before i added the tomatoes and the other ingredients. to the pasta i only added 1 c of skim milk and 4 tbsp butter, that was more than enough. i made the bechamel with skim milk too, and for the cheese i used a mixture of romano, parmesan and feta. i browned the top under the broiler for 2 minutes at the end. the first few portions didn’t hold their shape, but as it cooled it was much easier to serve. this is labor intensive but worth it, everyone had seconds!

  • DJM

    We have made this three time now; a five star winner. This does not fit in any 9×13 pan ; it fits perfectly in an Emeril Henry lasagna dish, which is larger and deeper . I have also used an attractive aluminum roasting pan. Adding a 1/2 teaspoon of ground cinnamon and a pinch of ground cloves brings it to the flavor of Greek restaurant food in my area. I have made this with Original EggBeaters to accommodate a friend's egg yolk allergy and it is still excellent. I have used a mix of ground meats; now prefer 1 lb. beef and 1/2 lb. each of pork and lamb.

  • Chabear01

    Well, lesson learned on this one…use a lasagna pan this cooked over my pan onto oven floor…grrr. Otherwise this darned good Greek Comfort food. Thank You for sharing this recipe.

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