Baked Pasta Casserole a.k.a Pastitsio

Baked Pasta Casserole a.k.a Pastitsio

 

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Baked Pasta Casserole a.k.a Pastitsio

You can't get more Greek than this! remembering the yesteryears, waking up on Sunday morning, the scent of Baked Pasta Casserole a.k.a Pastitsio would just tickle our noses, we would run downstairs  and instead of asking what's for breakfast, like all kids do, we would say, is it ready ???  My mom being very Greek, would always get up before everyone and prepare this beautiful, ultimate comfort dish. Pastitsio was not only a Sunday dish, it was a holiday dish, Christmas time, Birthdays, namedays, barbecues etc.  you name it. Any holiday would be accompanied by Pastitsio. I learned to make it just like my mom but I'm still nostalgic of her cooking and I always look forward to when she makes Pastitsio and serves it to us.   Baked Pasta - Greek food

If you are having a dinner party this is an excellent way to impress your guests!

*If you want to make it the traditional way you need to use Macaroni Pastitsio Pasta Noodles or you can substitute Pennes  I love this brand!

When I eat Pastitsio I  like to pair it with a Greek red rose wine

Let's start with the ingredients:

Course Lunch, Main Course
Servings 8

Ingredients

Red Sauce

  • 2 pds chopmeat
  • 1 large onion
  • 1 large tomato
  • 2 - 3 cloves garlic
  • 1/2 tspn nutmeg
  • 4 whole cloves
  • 1/2 tspn cinammon
  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • 2 tbspns tomato paste
  • 1/2 tspn oregano
  • salt and pepper to taste

Pasta Pennes or the Pastitsio Macaroni Noodles. There's a link above. I prefer Penne Pasta

  • 1 1/2 pound pasta
  • 2 tbspns grated parmesan cheese
  • 4 tbspns butter
  • 1 whole egg
  • salt and pepper to taste

My tasty Bechamel!

  • *8 cups of milk
  • *1 small can evaporated milk (optional)
  • 1 whole nutmeg or pepper
  • 2 whole eggs
  • 1 stick butter

* For each cup of milk (150 grams) add 2 tablespoons of flour. I use 9 cups of milk.

Instructions

Chop up your onions,tomato and garlic cloves. Place them in your skillet add your olive oil, (you can add more olive oil if you like) 1/2 teaspoon of oregano and a dash of salt and pepper then saute for about 10 min. then add your chopmeat, saute for about 15 minutes or until brown. Cover chopmeat with water let cook for about 45 min. on medium heat. Once it's ready to thicken add your tomato paste, ground nutmeg, add whole cloves, cinnamon, salt and pepper to taste and a dash of oregano, allow to simmer. When ready set aside for later use.

For the bechamel Before placing on stove add flour and stir very well with a whisk

Once the flour has dissolved completely place on stove on high and keep stirring until it thickens into a bechamel, if the flour hasn't dissolved completely before placing on stove it will crumble up into tiny balls and your bechamel will not come out good. Make sure it has dissolved completely !!! When the bechamel is ready add the whole stick of butter and stir, then add a whole beaten egg and stir, then (usually) I add at the tip of my teaspoon black pepper, if your prefer nutmeg you can grind nutmeg into your bechamel. Stir very well and set aside.

When bechamel is ready add your butter and stir.

Your bechamel is ready when it can form a somewhat ball shape on a teaspoon . Pasta time Cook as per package add salt for taste while boiling

Now your pasta:

I didn't have Penne Pasta so I used Rigatoni, they're very close Once they are ready drain and place in a pot.

Add 1/2 stick of regular butter 3 tablespoons of Parmesan cheese 1/2 teaspoon of butter 1 whole egg and mix all ingredients together.

Now get your pan, make sure you butter your pan very well. Add your first layer of pasta make sure you're not able to see the bottom of the pan

Then add your chopmeat sauce, don't use it all set aside about 3 big salad spoons, this will be our topping when we serve the Pastitsio.

Finally, add the bechamel

When your are done, beat 1 egg and spread on top of your Pastitsio this gives it color. Bake for 30 minutes at 180 celsius or 350 Fahrenheit.

Before serving set aside for 1/2 hour or else you will not be able to cut proper pieces. While this is cooling you make your sauce for the topping

Take your leftover sauce place it in a small pot, add two cups of water,2 tablespoons of tomato paste, 1 tablespoon olive oil, cinnamon,cloves, oregano,salt and pepper to taste. Let it boil until it thickens, when it's almost ready to thicken simmer it on medium heat. Place in a small bowl, when you are ready to serve your Pastitsio. Sprinkle your pastitsio piece with Parmesan cheese. I prefer to grind with my fork some Feta Cheese. I just love feta especially Kefalonian Feta. That's It! You're done!! Another delicious dish from my table to yours !! And by the way, if you have kids lots of licking and eating before everything goes into the dishwasher and sink !! 😉 One final tip and most important: When baking this dish, add a bigger pan with water, than the one your are baking with, in the oven, underneath the Pastitsio, because it will drip therefore this way, the juices will drip into the pan with water. Enjoy this Sunday dish !!!

The size of pan that I used for this is 9 * 13

2 thoughts on “Baked Pasta Casserole a.k.a Pastitsio

    1. Hello Rhonda,

      I used 1 pound and a half for this recipe. You need enough pasta to cover the top and bottom of your pan.
      The size that I used is a round pan 13 * 3 inches
      Thank you
      If you need further assistance you can contact me on any of my Social Media platforms.

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