Pastitsio is a common Greek dish with layers of pasta, meat and tomatoes seasoned with cinnamon, topped with a béchamel sauce. It is so tasty! This recipe is from “At Home Cafe” by Leslie Carpenter and Helen DeFrance via Martha Stewart Living. I substituted ground turkey for ground beef, and whole wheat penne for elbow macaroni. We ate it with a big green salad.

  • Yield: Serves 8
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 1 to 1.25 pound(s) lean ground beef or ground turkey
  • 2 (14-ounce) cans diced tomatoes, drained
  • 2 teaspoons dried oregano
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1 3/4 teaspoons coarse salt, plus more for cooking macaroni
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
  • 1/2 pound elbow macaroni or whole wheat penne
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, plus more for baking dish
  • 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
  • 4 cups whole milk, (1 quart)
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 cup crumbled feta cheese
  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. In a large skillet, heat oil over medium heat. Add onion and garlic; cook, stirring occasionally, until onion is translucent, about 7 minutes. Stir in beef, breaking it up with a wooden spoon, and cook until browned, about 7 minutes. Drain all but 1 tablespoon fat. Add tomatoes, oregano, cinnamon, 1 teaspoon salt, and pepper; bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer and cook, covered, for 15 minutes. Uncover, and simmer for 15 minutes more. Remove from heat; set aside.
  2. Meanwhile, bring a large pot of water to a boil; add salt. Add macaroni; cook until al dente. Drain macaroni; set aside.
  3. Melt butter in large saucepan over medium heat. Whisk in flour and cook, whisking constantly, for 1 minute. Increase heat to high, and while continuing to whisk, add milk and remaining 3/4 teaspoon salt. Bring to a boil, and remove from heat.
  4. Beat eggs in a small bowl. Slowly whisk in 1 cup of hot cream sauce, being careful not to scramble eggs, then beat egg mixture back into cream sauce. Whisk in 3/4 cup Parmesan.
  5. Brush a 9-by-13-inch baking dish with butter. Add half of the macaroni. Cover with 1 1/2 cups cheese sauce. Spread beef mixture evenly over. Layer with remaining macaroni; sprinkle with feta cheese. Top with remaining cheese sauce, and sprinkle with remaining 1/4 cup Parmesan. Bake in oven until golden and bubbling, 35 minutes. Let stand until firm, about 15 minutes.

About Josette@thebrookcook

I live in Stony Brook, New York on Long Island. I love garlic and baking. My hobby (and love) is to try new recipes. My favorite recipe resources include The New York Times, Food and Wine, Bon Appetit, and Martha Stewart Living. Enjoy!

4 responses to “Pastitsio

  1. Jess

    I had the good fortune of being invited to the Brookcook’s table the night this was served. It was delicious even though this cook insists on making everything HEALTHIER!!! I would recommend this dish to those who want to branch out from traditional pasta dishes. I could not tell that ground turkey was substituted.

  2. mom

    Hi Josette, Thanks for the blog. Yesterday I made Toffee Blondies. They were delicious. Next on my
    agenda is Pastitsio. Love, Mom.

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