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A plate with a piece of Pastitsio-Greek lasagna.
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Pastitsio ( Greek pasta bake)

Course Main Course
Cuisine Greek
Prep Time 25 minutes
Cook Time 40 minutes
Servings 8
Calories 1024kcal
Author by Jenny Skrapaliori Graves

Ingredients

for the beef ragù 

  • 1.5 lb ground beef
  • 8 oz bacon cut in pieces
  • 1 onion diced
  • 1 celery diced
  • 1 carrots diced
  • 1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves
  • 2 cloves garlic minced
  • 14 oz tomatoes chopped
  • 1 tablespoon Better than bouillon Roasted Chicken Base or a chicken bouillon or vegetable with half cup water
  • 1 tablespoon ground nutmeg
  • ½ cup extra virgin olive oil
  • sea salt
  • freshly ground pepper

for the bechamel sauce

  • 1 cup parmesan cheese grated
  • 4 cups whole milk
  • 7 tbsp unsalted butter
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 tbsp ground nutmeg
  • sea salt

for the pasta

  • box fat macaroni pasta such as Loi pasta or Misko No3
  • 2 eggs beaten
  • 1 cup Greek feta cheese crumbled
  • 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • a handful fresh thyme chopped

You will also need

  • ½ cup parmesan cheese grated, to sprinkle on top before baking.
  • 1-2 tablespoons butter to butter the pan
  • all-purpose flour extra in case you need to thicken the bechamel.
  • red chili flakes to sprinkle on top before baking and for serving

Instructions

make the beef ragu

  • Place a medium pan over high heat.
    Add 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Cook the bacon until crip. Remove from pan to a plate and set aside.
  • Add the diced onion. Sauté for 1 minute. Add the celery and carrots.
    Add 1 tablespoon of the chicken base. Stir and sauté for 1-2 min.
  • Add the ground meat. Brown for 4-5 minutes. Break it up with a wooden spoon to smaller pieces as it browns.
  • Add the tomatoes, nutmeg, thyme leaves and bacon pieces. Check if there is enough water, you might need to add a little bit.
    Turn the heat down to low and simmer for 20 minutes, or until the sauce reduces and the meat is cooked. Adjust salt and pepper to taste.

make the pasta

  • Cook the pasta all dente.
  • Brush your baking pan with a little butter. 
  • When the pasta is ready, drain well and spread in the pan. 
  • Lightly beat the 2 eggs, add the chopped thyme and crumbled feta cheese and mix well. 
    Spread egg mixture all over the pasta, make sure it goes all over from side to side. 
  • In the baking pan containing the pasta mixture spread the beef ragu over the pasta. 
  • Set aside until needed.

make the bechamel sauce

  • Heat the butter in a pot over medium heat. As soon as it melts, start adding the flour gradually while beating with a hand whisk continuously. 
  • Add milk while whisking to avoid any lumps forming. As you add more of the milk, the bechamel sauce will become more creamy than thick. When you feel it's ready, remove from heat and add the grated cheese. Season with salt, pepper, and nutmeg.

Finish assembly

  • Preheat oven to 350 F.
    Pour the bechamel sauce evenly over the ragu. Sprinkle the grated parmesan cheese all over the top.
    Bake for 40 minutes or until the top turns golden brown.

Notes

  • I always keep more milk and flour around than I might actually need just in case an adjustment in the thickness of the sauce is needed.
  • Let pastitsio sit for 30 min before serving. It will be easier to cut and serve. 
  • Pair a piece of pastitsio with a green salad with balsamic vinaigrette dressing. Enjoy!
 

Nutrition

Calories: 1024kcal | Carbohydrates: 25g | Protein: 32g | Fat: 89g | Saturated Fat: 36g | Cholesterol: 200mg | Sodium: 854mg | Potassium: 632mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 10g | Vitamin A: 2588IU | Vitamin C: 10mg | Calcium: 500mg | Iron: 3mg