Greek Pastitsio

Greek pastitsio recipe definitely isn’t a recipe inspired by seasons. You can eat Greek pastitsio during the whole year and certainly during all day.  

The truth is that even though pastitsio is not seasonal, I am used to cook Greek pastitsio mainly during winter months. This is probably due to the fact that during summer, staying over the kitchen for so long isn’t so pleasant due to the heat. 

Also, during summer months eggplant is in abundance, so I prefer cooking Greek mousaka (a recipe with almost similar procedure) instead of Greek pastitsio. 

Tips for making Greek pastitsio

Greek pastitsio is made with ziti pasta, ground meat and béchamel sauce. Greek pastitsio isn’t hard to make, it needs method and a cook who is dying for cooking it. So let’s get started:

  1. Prepare all the ingredients before starting. Chop finely onions and garlic, meaure the needed ingredients, divide egg yolks from whites.
  2. If you have enough time you can make Greek pastitsio by using only one pot. Crazy eh? Just follow the following steps:
  • First boil pasta – clean the pot
  • Sauté the meat – clean the pot
  • Make béchamel sauce – clean the pot

Greek Pastitsio

Servings 8 people

Ingredients

For ground meat

  • 500 gr ground beef
  • 4 tbsp virgin olive oil
  • 2 onions, finely chopped
  • 1 clove of garlic, minced
  • 400 gr tomato sauce or chopped tomatoes
  • salt
  • fresh ground pepper
  • ½ bunch of parsley, finely chopped

For béchamel sauce

  • 100 gr butter
  • 100 gr all-purpose flour
  • 1 liter milk
  • salt
  • fresh ground pepper
  • 3 egg yolks
  • 100 gr feta cheese, crumbled

For pasta

  • 300 gr long ziti pasta
  • 3 egg whites
  • 200 gr feta cheese, crumbled
  • 30 ml virgin olive oil

Instructions

For the pasta

  1. Add the pasta to a pot full of boiled water and boil 2 minutes less than the instructions on the box. 

  2. Brush a baking pan (35×25 cm) with olive oil. When the pasta is ready, drain and spread in the baking pan. Add the 3 egg whithes, lightly beaten, crumbled feta cheese, salt and pepper. Mix and set aside.

For ground meat

  1. Place a pan over high heat. Add olive oil, the finely chopped onions and sauté for 3-4 minutes, until the onions caramelize nicely. Add the garlic and continue to sauté.

  2. Add the ground meat. Break it up with a wooden spoon and brown for 4-5 minutes. 

  3. Add the tomatoe sauce, salt and fresh ground pepper.

  4. Turn the heat down to low and simmer for 10-20 minutes, until the sauce reduces and the ground meat is cooked.

  5. When ready, remove from heat, add parsley and set aside until needed.

For the béchamel sauce

  1. Heat the butter in a pot over medium heat. As soon as it melts (do not let it burn), add the flour. Beat with a hand whisk and sauté the flour for a few minutes.

  2. Add the milk, in small batches, whisking continuously so that no lumps form in the mixture.

  3. The mixture will be quite thick at first. You need to be persistent and patient. As you add more and more of the milk, you will see how the béchamel sauce will start to become nice and creamy.

  4. When the béchamel sauce starts to thicken, you have to be very careful not to let it burn on the bottom. Whisk continuously.

  5. When ready, remove from heat and add salt and pepper. Whisk in order to reduce temperature.

  6. At the end add the 3 egg yolks and whisk to incorporate.

For making Greek pastitsio

  1. Preheat oven to 180* C Fan.

  2. On the baking containing pasta add the ground meat and spread evenly. 

  3. Pour the béchamel sauce over the ground meat and sprinkle with crumbled feta cheese.

  4. Bake for 40 minutes or until the béchamel turns golden brown.

As I promised on my last post of the salad, I came back with a special recipe. Life needs balance. 

Until the next recipe I will be happy to hear from you either on Instagram, or Facebook or Twitter!

2 Comments

  1. annika says:

    Wondeful dish to pass on to husband for sure. Can it be made with lamb as well? As always, the photos are amazing!

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