pastitsio recipe


Pastitsio is a Greek baked pasta dish including ground beef and b?chamel sauce it makes for an excellent winter comfort meal.

Served with a mixed green salad dressed with wine vinegar and Greek extra virgin olive oil, this will definitely please your guests and family.

pastitsio recipe


  1. 500g grated parmesan cheese or a cheese of your choice
  2. 1 1/2 pkts macaroni No3 (usually long, thick, hollow pasta)
  3. butter

For the mince layer:

  1. 750g mince
  2. 1 large onion, finely chopped
  3. extra virgin olive oil
  4. 2 fresh ripe tomatoes, chopped
  5. 500ml Passata
  6. salt, pepper, ground nutmeg
  7. 500ml (2 cups) water
  8. 200ml red wine

For the bechamel sauce:

  1. 7-8 tbsp flour
  2. 250g butter or margarine
  3. 4 eggs
  4. 1 can evaporated milk
  5. 1 can of water (use the empty milk can)
  6. 300g grated cheese (this portion is taken from the 500g grated earlier)
  7. Salt, pepper
  8. 1 level tsp ground nutmeg


Boil the pasta in salted water.

Drain the pasta and rinse with cold water.

Melt 2 tbsp butter in the pot and return the pasta to the pot tossing it well to coat it with the melted butter.  Leave aside to cool.

Preparing the mince: Sauté the onion and mince in the heated olive oil until the mince is browned.

Add the fresh tomatoes, passata, salt, pepper, nutmeg, water, and allow to simmer for approximately 40 minutes (or until most of the liquid is reduced). Just before removing the mixture from the heat, add the wine.  Let the mince mixture to cool.

To prepare the béchamel sauce:  Melt the margarine in a saucepan over medium heat, and add the flour, whisking constantly till flour is lightly browned.      

While whisking constantly, pour in slowly the evaporated milk, water, eggs, salt, pepper, nutmeg and finally add the grated cheese.  As soon as the sauce thickens, remove from heat and allow it to cool.

Preheated oven to 180 degrees C.

In a well greased ovenproof dish, place  2/3 of the pasta to create a bottom layer.  Level out and sprinkle with some of the remaining 200g grated cheese.

Next spread the mince on top of the pasta.

Cover the mince with the remaining pasta, and more of the grated cheese.

Cover the whole pastitsio with the béchamel sauce, and sprinkle with the remaining cheese, which will add extra flavour as well as a golden colour to the finished dish.

Place dish in the preheated over and bake for approximately 1 hour.

Additional Tips

The ovenproof dish that I use is 33x38cm which is the standard size for most ovens.  It takes up to 1kg of mince if you so wish.  Once the pastitsio is baked, remove from the oven, allow to cool and settle for a few minutes before cutting into it.  Do give this recipe a try!   It will be worth your while!  Enjoy!

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