Pronounced “puh-STEET-see-ow’ this is an amazing Greek offering of COMFORT FOOD. It is mac n’ cheese taken to new heights.
This has both feta and parmesan cheese, a rich meat sauce and it’s topped with a rich bechamel-like sauce and then baked altogether. You will want to make this a regular.
Make the meat sauce by browning the meat. I mix turkey and lamb. Drain off any oil.
Add the onion and red pepper and cook.
Stir in garlic, tomato sauce and paste and seasonings and cook until extra juices evaporate.
Cook pasta and drain. Stir in feta and egg whites.
Start white sauce by making a roux by melting butter and whisking in flour.
Add warmed milk, whisk and cook until sauce thickens. Remove from heat and cool for about 10 minutes.
Whip in the egg yolks quickly so that the yolk cooks in evenly. Stir in salt & pepper, parmesan cheese and nutmeg.
Now just put it all together!
Spread the pasta mixture on the bottom.
Spread meat sauce over the pasta.
And top it off with delicious sauce.
Sprinkle the top with parmesan cheese and throw it in the oven.
Cool for about 10 minutes before serving.
Pastitsio – Greek Pasta Casserole
- 2 pounds ground meat – beef, turkey or lamb
- 1 Tbsp olive oil
- 1 medium red onion, chopped
- 1 red bell pepper, chopped
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 15 ounce can tomato sauce
- ¼ cup tomato paste
- 1½ tsp salt
- ½ tsp black pepper
- 1 tsp sugar
- ½ tsp cinnamon
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 pound penne pasta
- 4 ounces feta cheese, crumbled
- 2 egg whites
- ½ cup butter
- ½ cup flour
- 3 cups whole milk, warmed
- 1 tsp salt
- ¼ tsp black pepper
- 2 egg yolks
- 1 cup parmesan cheese, grated
- Pinch nutmeg
- Preheat oven to 350°.
- Brown meat and drain any extra oil.
- Add olive oil, onion and red pepper. Cook and stir 5-7 minutes until veggies start to soften.
- Add garlic, tomato sauce and paste, salt, pepper, sugar, cinnamon and bay leaf. Cook over medium heat until most of moisture is absorbed.
- Cook penne 3-4 minutes less than suggested on package. Drain and pour into bowl.
- Add parmesan and egg whites. Mix well.
- Melt butter in sauce pan over medium high heat.
- Whisk in flour and cook for about a minute.
- Whisk in the warmed milk. Cook and stir until sauce thickens, about 10 minutes.
- Remove from heat and cool for 10 minutes.
- Whip in salt, pepper, egg whites, parmesan and nutmeg.
- Spray or butter large casserole dish. **Use deep dish
- Cover bottom with penne mixture.
- Top with meat sauce. Spread evenly over pasta.
- Pour on white sauce and spread with spoon.
- Sprinkle with a little parmesan if desired.
- Bake for 40 minutes.
- Allow to cool 7-10 minutes before serving.