Greek pastitsio (Pastichio) – a layer of pasta with cheese, layer of delicious meat mixture with tomato sauce and covered with third layer of rich béchamel sauce. This dish is also known as Greek lasagna and also remind moussaka (another amazing Greek dish). If you like to eat comfort food, this traditional Greek pastitsio is definitely worth a try. This dish also popular in Egypt, it’s called inn Egypt macarona béchamel or macaroni béchamel.
Make the pasta layer: Cook the pasta to al dente according to package directions, drain. Let cool slightly, then add 2 eggs, chopped parsley, cheese, salt and pepper. Stir to combine. Transfer the pasta to a greased 13X9-inch (33X22cm) baking dish and set aside.
Meat mixture: Heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil over medium heat in a large skillet. Add chopped onion, sauté for 3-4 minutes, add crushed garlic and sauté for 1-2 minutes more. Add ground beef, cook, breaking it up, until no longer pink, about 5-6 minutes. Add tomato paste and cook for 1-2 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add red wine, cook, until alcohol Add tomato sauce, bay leaves, cinnamon, salt, pepper and simmer for 15-20 minutes, until thickens. Remove bay leaves and set the meat mixture aside.
Béchamel sauce: In a large saucepan over medium heat melt the butter, add flour and whisk continuously, until smooth paste forms. Gradually add the warm milk while continually whisking to prevent lumps. Whisk until the sauce is smooth and thick. Remove from heat and add pinch salt, black pepper, nutmeg, parmesan and egg yolks, whisk until smooth.
Preheat oven to 350F (175C).
Assemble: add 4-5 tablespoons of the béchamel sauce to the meat mixture and mix until well combined. Spread meat mixture over the pasta layer. Pour béchamel sauce over the meat mixture and spread evenly. Grate some parmesan cheese on top.
Bake for 40 minutes, until golden brown. Remove from oven and let cool for at least 30 minutes before serving.
Instead of red wine you can use beef broth.
I used penne pasta but you can use any other pasta for this recipe.
Pastitsio can be serve warm or cold, but after baking it is important to let it cool for at least 30 minutes.