It’s a hearty meal and a favorite we make a few times a year. This Greek pastitsio recipe is something the whole family will enjoy!
The milk and semolina mixture you place on top before cooking gives it its signature taste!
I love this authentic pastitsio recipe! It is like the Greek’s version of lasagna or baked ziti.
It’s a hearty meal and a favorite we make every now and then. The milk and semolina mixture you place on top before cooking gives it its signature taste! Although there are many variations out there for this particular dish, I enjoy all the flavors in their s simplicity You will notice that I do not use many herbs or spices – although it is not uncommon for different regions of Greece to utilize these techniques when making the dish. Cook with your heart and keep your taste buds in mind – you won’t be disappointed in the end. Now, let’s take a look at what some call a Greek lasagna recipe.
Pastitsio Recipe Tips
Some tips to remember when making a Pastitsio recipe:
1. When making the pasta, it is okay if you don’t have the traditional tube noodles on hand (which can be purchased by clicking: Greek Noodles). I have often used large elbow macaroni noodles in place of the tube noodles and it has still turned out wonderful. Sometimes, you’ll notice that it’s even easier to break apart when eating.
2. Make sure to not only salt the pasta, but also to undercook it a tad. Salting it will give it the flavor it needs to stand on its own (even though you have the meat and béchamel sauce to back it up) and undercooking it will be necessary as you continue to cook it in the oven later.
3. You can always turn up the heat a bit at the very end of the baking process – this will allow it to have an extra crispy top layer if that is your preference.
4. Although it is not mentioned in this recipe, I have tried Pastitsio recipes that include a step on reducing the meat in red wine or chicken broth. Try this if you want to add another layer of flavor.
I hope you enjoy this warm and comforting meal. Make it in a large family style portion or even cut it in half to satisfy 2-3 people and serve with a traditional Greek salad.
Enjoy and let us know what you think!
- 1 lb large elbow macaroni noodles
- *Meat sauce*
- 4 tablespoons butter
- 2 lb ground beef
- 1 medium-sized onion, finely chopped
- 16 ounces tomato sauce
- 1 cup crumbled feta (may sub with grated Kefalotyri)
- 1 egg
- * Béchamel/Cream Sauce*
- 4 tablespoons butter
- 4 cups (1 quart) milk
- 1 cup semolina
- Salt (optional)
- ½ cup feta cheese
- 1 -2 tsps cinnamon
- Boil noodles for according to package, you want them al dente.
- Drain and place noodles in mixing bowl.
- Preheat oven to 350F.
- Melt butter in frying pan.
- Add ground beef and onion, brown meat.
- Add tomato sauce, simmer for 5 minutes.
- Add meat sauce to noodles, mix well.
- Add egg and grated cheese to pastitsio mixture, mix everything together.
- Grease baking pan. Pour pastitsio mixture into pan.
- *Now, let's make the Béchamel*
- Heat milk in pan.
- Add butter.
- Stir in semolina slowly, continuously stirring
- Add salt to taste.
- When béchamel gets thick, remove from heat.
- Spread béchamel over pastitsio.
- Top with some extra feta cheese and sprinkle entire pastitsio with Cinnamon
- Bake for about 45 minutes (until pastitsio top is a nice golden brown color)
- Let cool before serving.