My Pastitio (Greek Lasagna)
A base of noodles, topped with cinnamon infused meat, topped with a thick creamy coating of bechemal sauce. This is actually my fathers recipe…officially handed off to me - his favorite daughter (okay his only daughter). Prior to his passing I sat him down and forced him to give me the exact recipe as he had made it for us for so many years. Getting my father to give exact amounts was quite the challenge. This is a staple in any Greek household - it’s our version of Lasagna. Friends and family would often ask for him to make his pastitio…it’s delicious. This recipe feeds a crowd. I would highly suggest making it a day or two before and just reheat in the oven prior to serving.
- 2lb bag of macaroni (penne pasta - we love Primo pasta with ridges)
- 1 medium onion chopped
- 3lb ground meat
- 1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese - dad didn’t use the fancy stuff - just Kraft
- 1 stick butter
- 1 24oz can of crushed tomatoes
- Italian Bread crumbs (to sprinkle on top)
- 3 eggs (separated, whites for pasta, yolks for Béchamel sauce)
- 2-3 tbsp olive oil
- 1/4 tsp cinnamon
- salt & pepper
- Deep baking dish – 10×15 or larger at least 4 inches deep
- 1 stick butter
- 7 tbsp flour
- ¼ gallon – or 4-5 cups whole milk
- 3 egg yolks
- salt and pepper
- 1 cup Kraft Parmesan cheese
- Boil water for pasta – add salt to water. Cook pasta to only half done. Strain and set aside.
- Sauté onion in a little olive oil. Add ground meat – brown. Add can of crushed tomatoes. Sprinkle a couple dashes of cinnamon to meat tomatoes mixture. Add salt and pepper to taste.
- Beat eggs white until they foam. Mix macaroni and egg whites together (this will help the macaroni stick together).
- Butter baking dish.
- Add half Macaroni to baking dish and sprinkle with Parmesan cheese. Add remaining macaroni and sprinkle again with Parmesan. Press macaroni down firmly in pan.
- Add all of the ground meat mix on top of the macaroni. Press down firmly on ground meat mix so that it is even in pan.
- Add hot béchamel sauce on top of browned meat. Sprinkle with Parmesan and breadcrumbs.
- Bake at 350 degrees for 1- 1½ hours or until top of béchamel has browned.
Béchamel Sauce Directions
- Melt butter in large pot. Add 7 tbsp flour. Mix quickly with wooden spoon
- Add milk. Continue to mix quickly to prevent lumps
- Add 3 egg yolks (mixed/beaten)
- Add salt, pepper and Parmesan to taste
- Bring to a boil. Continue to stir. Sauce should thicken