Greek Pasta Casserole "Pastichio"

1
Maria *

By
@WWCook1

This is the ultimate Greek comfort food loved by young and old. I know there are a few Pastitsio recepies here on JAP but this is the way I've been making it for my family for the pas 45 years. It freezes well before or after baking. If you bake frozen though and have used a glass dish, remember to thaw before placing in hot oven. It is not a quick dish to make but as we all know, all good things take time!

Rating:

☆☆☆☆☆ 0 votes

Comments:
Serves:
8 - 10
Method:
Bake

Ingredients

  • 3 Tbsp
    evoo
  • 2
    onions, finaly chopped
  • 2 lb
    ground beef
  • 24 oz
    canned crushed tomatos
  • 2 stick
    cinnamon
  • 4
    whole cloves
  • 10-15
    black peppercorns, crushed
  • ·
    salt and pepper
  • 1 lb
    bucatini ( long tubular pasta)
  • 1 c
    kefalotiri or kefalograviera cheese graded
  • BECHAMEL SAUCE

  • 8 tsp
    unsalted butter
  • 8 Tbsp
    all purpose flour
  • 4 c
    milk (i use 2%)
  • 3 large
    eggs
  • 1/2 c
    kefalotiri cheese grated
  • 1/2 tsp
    freshly grated nutmeg
  • ·
    salt and pepper
  • TOPPING

  • 1-2 Tbsp
    kefalotiri cheese
  • 1/4 tsp
    nutmeg
  • ·
    melted butter

How to Make Greek Pasta Casserole "Pastichio"

Step-by-Step

  1. In a large saucepan heat 3 Tbsp evoo and saute onions until translucent, 5-7 minutes. Add the ground beef. Break up any large lumps with a wooden spoon and brown for about 4-5 minutes. Add crushed tomatos ( pouch with cinnamon sticks, whole cloves, and peppercorns) salt and pepper.
    Lower heat and simmer for about 30 minutes, until liquid is absorbd and meat is cooked. Remove pan from heat and let cool slightly. Remove pouch with spieces.
  2. While the meat is simmering, boil the pasta in salted water, till almost aldente ( it will cook further in the oven). Drain and rinch in cold wated to stop cooking. Drain again and toss with graded kefalotiri cheese.
  3. Pre-heat over 350*F (180*C). Lightly grease a large baking pan or pyrex dish ( mine in picture is ).
    First layer: Spread half of pasta on bottom of dish, trying to place pasta all in one direction ( this is really only for presentation reasons when you cut into portions)
    Second layer: Pour in the meat sauce spreading evenly over the pasta.
    Third layer: Spread remaining pasta.
  4. Besamel sauce: In a sauce pan over medium heat, melt the butter ( careful it doesn't burn). Add the flour and sourte flour for a couple of minutes. Scrape any flour that is on the sides of the pot so it doesn't burn. Add the milk in small baches whisking with every addition, so no lumps form in the mixture. Whisk constantly till Besamel becomes nice and creamy. When ready remove from heat and add the eggs, salt, pepper, nutmeg, and grated kefalotiri cheese.Whisk till incorporated thoroughly.
  5. Pour the Besamel sauce and evenly spread over the ground beef. Sprinkle with some grated kefalotiri cheese. Last you can also add some small cubes of butter.
  6. Bake for 40-45 minutes or until the Besamel becomes golden brown.
    Remove from oven and let rest for about 15 minutes before cutting into large square.
    Kali Orexi ( Have a good appertite)
  7. NOTE: #1 Pastitsio is layerd as in recipe or all pasta at the bottom, meat sauce and Besamel on top (3 Layers) it's a matter of the cooks prefference
    #2 If you can't find kefalotiri or kefalograviera you substitute with Romano cheese. But try to find a kefalotiri as it makes a significant differnce.
    #3 Enclose cinnamon sticks, gloves and peppercorns in small pouch as it will be easier to removes after meat has been cooked.

Printable Recipe Card

About Greek Pasta Casserole "Pastichio"

Course/Dish: Casseroles
Main Ingredient: Pasta
Regional Style: Greek
Dietary Needs: Soy Free
Other Tags: For Kids Heirloom




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