Nothing says a rich dish like a Greek Moussaka or Pastitsio or Παστίτσιο in Greek. Pastitsio is an authentic Greek baked pasta dish with ground meat and béchamel sauce. It’s like a Greek lasagna but with béchamel sauce and thick spaghetti.

Pastitsio has layers of pasta, minced beef, and a creamy béchamel sauce which are baked together to create a rich, velvety dish. This is my mom’s tried and true recipe for rich, authentic Greek Pastisio. Make sure to watch the video below as well! 

Authentic Greek Pastitsio (Παστίτσιο) – Greek “Lasagna”

Ingredients

2 packages of thick, long pasta such as bucatini, or if you can find Greek brand Misko Spaghetti  No. 3 at your local Greek bakery

1 – 1½ cups of Kefalotyri, Kefalograviera, Mizithra or parmesan cheese, finely grated

1 cup milk

Pastitsio Greek Pasta Nea Fytini

Beef Mixture

1/2 kg ground beef (1 1/2 pounds of beef is ideal)

1 large onion, finely chopped

2-3 cloves garlic, finely chopped

2 tablespoons olive oil (if meat is extra lean)

2 teaspoons sea salt

1 teaspoon black pepper

Half a cinnamon stick

2 bay leaves

3-4 cloves

1/2 cup white wine

1 cup tomato purée, or 3 medium tomatoes, shredded

1/2 cup water

 

Béchamel

3 cups of milk

6 tablespoons flour

4 tablespoons butter, softened (or Nea Fytini, which can be found at your local Greek bakery)

4 eggs

Salt and pepper

Watch my mom make the recipe!

Method:

Sauté the ground beef, onion and garlic in ¼ cup of butter until browned.

Add salt, pepper, parsley and stir for a few minutes.

Add tomato and stir for a few minutes, then the wine.

Cook on medium heat for about an hour, or until sauce is thick and no water remains. When the sauce is cooked, add a a handful of the shredded cheese to the mixture and stir.

At the same time, in a separate pot, boil the water for the pasta with a little salt.

At the same time, prepare the béchamel. In a small bowl, mix together softened butter and flour, salt and pepper until a nice consistency.

Add 3 cups of milk to sauce pan and cook on low heat. Slowly add the flour/butter mixture and stir to remove clumps. Then, add eggs, one by one, stirring well after each addition. Keep stirring on low heat until the sauce thickens.

Once the pasta is cooked, drain and place back into pot. Add the remaining ¼ cup of butter and mix with the pasta, along with 1 cup of milk, and a handful of the grated cheese.

Once the sauce is cooked, remove the bay leaves, cinnamon and cloves. Add a handful of the grated cheese and stir.

In a large round roasting pan, add half of the pasta. Then, add a layer of the beef mixture. Add the remaining pasta on top. Then, add the béchamel sauce to the top. Add a little more cheese, and a few pats of butter to the top.

Bake at 350 for about 45 minutes or until brown.

 

My Mom's Tried and True Recipe for Rich Greek Pastitsio

My Mom's Tried and True Recipe for Rich Greek Pastitsio

My Mom's Tried and True Recipe for Rich Greek Pastitsio

Yield: Large Roasting Pan

My Mom's Tried and True Recipe for Rich Greek Pastitsio (Παστίτσιο)

My Mom's Tried and True Recipe for Rich Greek Pastitsio

Pastitsio is an authentic Greek baked pasta dish with ground meat and béchamel sauce. It's like a Greek lasagna but with béchamel sauce and thick spaghetti.

Prep Time 1 hour
Cook Time 1 hour
Total Time 2 hours

Ingredients

Beef Mixture

  • 1/2 kg ground beef (1 1/2 pounds of beef is ideal)
  • 1 large onion, finely chopped
  • 2-3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil (if beef is extra lean
  • 3 medium tomatoes, shredded, or 1 cup tomato purée
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/2 cup white wine
  • 2 teaspoons sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1/2 cinnamon stick
  • 3-4 cloves
  • 2 packages of thick, long pasta * see notes below
  • 1 – 1½ cups of Kefalotyri, Kefalograviera, Mizithra or parmesan cheese, finely grated
  • 1 cup milk

Béchamel

  • 3 cups of milk
  • 6 tablespoons flour
  • 4 tablespoons butter, softened * see notes below
  • 4 eggs
  • Salt and pepper

Instructions

    1. Sauté the ground beef until brown. If using extra lean, add some olive oil.
    2. Add onion and garlic, salt and pepper.
    3. Add tomato and 1/2 cup water and stir.
    4. Add cinnamon, bay leaves and cloves, and stir.
    5. Add in the wine, and cook on medium heat for about an hour, or until sauce is thick and no water remains.
    6. Once sauce is cooked, add a handful of the grated cheese to the mixture and stir.
    7. At the same time, in a separate pot, boil the water for the pasta with a little salt.
    8. At the same time, prepare the béchamel. In a small bowl, mix together softened butter and flour, salt and pepper until a nice consistency.
    9. Add 3 cups milk to sauce pan and cook on low heat. Slowly add the flour/butter mixture and stir to remove clumps.
    10. Then, add eggs, one by one, stirring well after each addition. Keep stirring on low heat until the sauce thickens. Add a handful of the cheese and stir.
    11. Once the pasta is cooked, drain and place back into pot. Add the remaining ¼ cup of butter and mix with the pasta, along with 1 cup of milk and a handful of the grated cheese.
    12. In a large round roasting pan, add half of the pasta. Then, add a layer of the beef mixture. Add the remaining pasta on top.
    13. Then, add the béchamel sauce to the top. Add a little more cheese to the top, and a few pats of butter to the top.
    14. Bake at 350 for about 45 minutes or until brown.

    Notes

    Try to find Greek brand Misko Spaghetti  No. 3 at your local Greek bakery. If you can't, use bucatini, or something similar - super thick spaghetti.

    You may choose to use Nea Fytini instead of butter, which can be found at your local Greek bakery.

    Nutrition Information:

    Yield:

    16

    Serving Size:

    1

    Amount Per Serving: Calories: 271Total Fat: 18gSaturated Fat: 9gTrans Fat: 1gUnsaturated Fat: 7gCholesterol: 106mgSodium: 541mgCarbohydrates: 11gFiber: 1gSugar: 2gProtein: 15g

     

     

    My Mom's Tried and True Recipe for Rich Greek Pastitsio (Παστίτσιο) (1)

    Author

    Maria Lianos-Carbone is the author of “Oh Baby! A Mom’s Self-Care Survival Guide for the First Year”, and publisher of amotherworld.com, a leading lifestyle blog for women.

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