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Pastitsio (Greek Lasagna)

Course Main Course
Cuisine Greek
Keyword lasagna, pastitsio
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 2 hours 30 minutes
Servings 5 people

Ingredients

Meat Sauce

  • 1 kg Ground Beef
  • 5 cloves Garlic
  • 1 Onion
  • 500 g Canned Tomato
  • 2 tbsp Tomato Paste
  • 1 tsp Granulated Sugar
  • 1 Bay Leaf
  • ½ tsp Cinnamon Powder
  • Salt to taste
  • Black Pepper to taste

Béchamel Sauce

  • 120 g Flour
  • 120 g Butter
  • 1 l Milk
  • 2 Egg Yolks
  • ¼ tsp Nutmeg Powder
  • ½ cup Parmesan Cheese
  • Salt to taste
  • Black Pepper to taste

Pasta

  • 400 g Bucatini Pasta n. 2
  • 1 cup Parmesan Cheese
  • 2 White Eggs
  • 1 tbsp Salt

Instructions

Meat Sauce

  1. In a pan, heat oil over medium-high heat. Cook onion and garlic until translucent.

  2. Turn the heat to very high heat, then cook ground beef until the water evaporated.

  3. Add remaining meat sauce ingredients. Stir then turn the heat down and simmer the sauce for about 1 hour or until liquid is mostly gone. Set aside.

Béchamel Sauce

  1. In another pan, melt butter over medium heat.

  2. After melted, add the flour and stir until mix well and thickens.

  3. While stirring, pour small batches of the milk so there is no lump on the saucepan. Once blended, add the remaining milk in increments, mixing well after each addition, until all the milk is used and sauce is free from lumps.

  4. Once the sauce is free from lumps, add in and mix egg yolks, parmesan cheese, nutmeg powder, salt, and pepper. Set aside

Pasta

  1. Boil water over medium-high heat. Cook bucatini pasta with salt according to its package.

  2. Drain the pasta then add in and mix the pasta with parmesan cheese and egg whites.

Pastitsio

  1. Preheat oven to 200°C.

  2. To assemble, add a layer of bucatini pasta then topped it with meat sauce and topped it with béchamel sauce to a 7.5×9.5×2-inch glass rectangular dinnerware.

  3. Sprinkle the pastitsio with parmesan cheese. Bake for 45 minutes or until the béchamel sauce and parmesan cheese brownish.

  4. Before serving, cool down the pastitsio for a while in a room temperature so it will not mess the pasta when you cut the pastitsio.

Recipe Notes

  • The meat sauce is better to chill before coating the pasta. The thickness will make it stick better.
  • Coat the pasta layers evenly and smoothly so the sauce doesn't seep into the other layers.
  • Unlike lasagna, pastitsio is served after you cut it into squares. That gives you at least 8-10 minutes to serve once it's out of the oven.
  • Enter the flour and butter first during the whisking stage of making the bechamel sauce. Then, add the milk little by little while you stir. It makes the sauce less lumpy and smooth.
  • If you don't really like the spice mix, you can try it first by mixing it in warm water. But, I think this recipe can be an option for spice lovers or not.
  • If you want to make traditional pastitsio, you should use bucatini number 2 or pastitsio pasta number 2. The shape is like a spaghetti tube pasta with a cavity. If you think it is difficult to find in stores that have stock of European goods, don't push it too much. You can use ziti or penne pasta. It will be a similar shape.
  • If you want it to taste more Greek, you can use kefalotyri cheese or kasseri cheese. The cheese is a cheese with the basic ingredients of sheep's or goat's milk. It tastes saltier, sharper, and more savory than parmesan. Alternatively, you can replace it with parmesan kefalograviera, romano, or pecorino cheese.
  • Although I used ground beef, you can try other ground meats like chicken, turkey, or lamb.
  • This recipe is rich in tomatoes. I use canned tomatoes and tomato puree because they have different textures and tastes. Especially in Indonesia, the taste of tomatoes is different. So I don't recommend using fresh tomatoes.
  • Do not make each layer lose or perforated. That will make it a mess because it doesn't stick together later.