Greek Pastitsio (Baked Greek Lasagna)

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Greek Pastitsio (Baked Greek Lasagna)

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Ingredients

Base Ingredients:
350 gr macaroni for Pastitsio (you can substitute penne or ziti)
110 gr Feta cheese 4 ounces
2 Eggs
Meat Sauce:
700 gr lean minced beef 25 ounces
2 medium red onions finely chopped
2 cloves of garlic chopped
400 gr canned chopped tomatoes 14 ounces
1 tbsp tomato puree
1 tsp Sugar
1 glass red wine
1 cinammon stick
1 whole cloves
1/4 of a cup Olive Oil
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
Béchamel:
120 gr Flour 4 ounces
120 gr Butter 4 ounces
900 ml Milk 3 and 1/2 cups
2 Egg Yolks
100 gr Parmigiano Reggiano or Kefalotyri (3.5 ounces)
a pinch nutmeg
  • Medium

Ingredients

  • Base Ingredients:

  • Meat Sauce:

  • Béchamel:

Directions

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Pastitsio is a traditional Greek dish that consists of layers of baked pasta, juicy minced beef, and béchamel sauce topped with melted cheese. The minced beef is cooked in a tomato sauce along with some spices.

This traditional Greek recipe is also called “Greek lasagna”, as its beef sauce has a similar taste to the Italian Bolognese sauce. With its intense flavors of cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, and allspice, it is the perfect dish for a cold winter night.

How to Make Greek Pastitsio:

  1. To prepare this traditional pastitsio recipe, start by making the meat sauce. Heat a large pan to a medium high heat and add the olive oil.
  2. Stir in the chopped onions and sauté until softened. Stir in the garlic, tomato puree, and the beef (breaking it up with a wooden spoon) and sauté. Pour in the red wine and wait for it to evaporate.
  3. Add the tinned tomatoes, the sugar, cinnamon, cloves, and bay leaf and season. Bring to the boil, then turn the heat down and simmer with the lid on for about 30 minutes until most of the juices have evaporated. (After the meat is cooked, remove the bay leaf, cloves and cinnamon)
  4. To prepare the béchamel sauce, melt the butter in a pan over a low-medium heat. Add the flour whisking continuously to make a paste.
  5. Add the warmed milk in a steady stream and keep whisking to prevent your sauce from getting lumpy. If the sauce still needs to thicken, boil over a low heat whilst continuing to stir.
  6. Remove the pan from the stove and add the egg yolks, salt, pepper, a pinch of nutmeg, and the grated cheese. Whisk quickly, in order to prevent the eggs from turning into an omelette!
  7. Cook the pasta for 2-3 minutes less than the package instructions, so it doesn’t go mushy after going in the oven. Drain the pasta and stir in the eggs and feta cheese (mashed with a fork) and mix gently with a spatula.
  8. For this pastitsio recipe you will need a large baking dish, approximately 20-30 cm.
  9. Butter the bottom and sides of the dish and assemble the pastitsio.
  10. Layer the pasta and meat sauce and smooth the top. Top the pastitsio with the béchamel sauce and smooth out with a spatula.
  11. Sprinkle with grated cheese and bake in a preheated oven at 180-200C for about 40 minutes, until crust turns a light golden brown. Leave the pastitsio to cool for a while before serving.
Greek Pastitsio
Greek Pastitsio
Greek Pastitsio
Greek Pastitsio

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