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Today is a trip to the Mediterranean side. Like I mentioned before, my stepfather is Greek which means Big Fat Christmas Dinners in Greektown and as many Greek festivals as possible in the summer. I’ve never actually cooked Greek food before, so I thought I’d remedy that by trying out my favorite dish–Pastitsio.


Pastitsio is pasta layered with spiced meat and béchamel sauce. It came out really well (nice and moist) and got thumbs up all around. It’s not a difficult dish to make, but it’s a little time consuming to make all at once. Some parts you can do-ahead, or save it for a special occasion meal. For something this tasty, it’s worth it! The meat filling is half lamb/half beef, but feel free to use all of either.

Pastitsio collage



  • 1 lb #2 pastitsio noodles (or other tube shaped pasta such as ziti)
  • 1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese

Ingredients for the meat sauce:pastitsio

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 small or 1 large onion, chopped
  • 3 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 lb ground lamb
  • 1 lb ground sirloin
  • 1 can tomato puree (28 oz)
  • 3/4 – 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon (to taste)
  • 1/4 dried oregano
  • Salt, pepper and fresh nutmeg

Ingredients for the béchamel:

  • 1/4 lb (1 stick) butter
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 4 cups milk
  • 3 egg yokes
  • Salt, pepper and fresh nutmeg


In a large pot boil water for noodles. Cook and drain according to package instructions.

In a large pan, saute onion and garlic in oil until softened, then add meat and cook until browned. Stir in tomato and spices, taste and adjust spices if necessary. Simmer until sauce reduces by about half.

In a separate pan melt butter. Whisk in flour and cook for a few minutes, but do not brown. Whisk in milk, stirring and cooking until smooth and sauce begins to thicken and bubble. Add seasonings to taste, including plenty of freshly grated nutmeg.

Grease a 13×9 or similarly sized pan with tall sides. Layer half the pasta, all of the meat, the other half of the pasta, then the béchamel sauce. Top with cheese and bake uncovered for about 45 minutes and top is golden. Allow to cool for 10 minutes before cutting.

Yield: serves an army (approximately 12)


Aunt Judy

Monday 3rd of March 2014

Pastitso is in my top five favorites. First time I ever had it was in Greece, in a home, not a restaurant! I had never seen such a large, circular baking dish anywhere. It was fabulous. I will try this recipe, but I have never seen these noodles. I've only used macaroni. I'll have to look for them. Can't wait to try!!

Rebekah | The Kitchen Gidget

Monday 3rd of March 2014

Oh wow that must have been absolutely delicious! I got my noodles in Greektown but you might be able to find them in the ethnic section of a regular store


Friday 1st of November 2013

It was REALLY good. I mean REALLY!


Friday 1st of November 2013

Love this stuff too!


Friday 1st of November 2013

I'm salivating right now! :)


Friday 1st of November 2013

This looks so good!