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Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Pastitsio (Greek "Lasagna")

Pastitsio is a Greek layered baked pasta dish, based upon the Italian pasticcio, which means hodge podge. Pasticcio is also called lasagna al forno, hence why pastitsio is sometimes called Greek "lasagna." Pastitsio is similar to lasagna but made with tubular pasta such as bucatini or penne, has less tomato sauce, and includes a bechamel sauce.

Pastitsio (Greek Lasagna) 1

I like using cottage cheese in my baked pastas because it's relatively light and melts easily. You can also use more bechamel sauce to layer the pasta instead.

Pastitsio (Greek "Lasagna")

For an 9-by-14-inch pan, you'll need:
Bechamel sauce
12 oz package bucatini, penne, or any other tubular pasta
1 lb ground beef
1 large onion, diced
1 28-oz can diced tomatoes
1 16-oz container small curd cottage cheese
2 eggs
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 tsp salt
1 tsp ground black pepper
1 tsp ground nutmeg
1 tsp dried oregano

Make the bechamel sauce and set aside.

Bucatini is a long tubular pasta, sometimes called long macaroni. Lightly boil it to soften, but don't fully cook it. The pasta will continue cooking when it's baked so you don't want it to become too soggy. Drain and set aside.

Pastitsio (Greek Lasagna) 2

Dice and saute 1 large onion.

Pastitsio (Greek Lasagna) 3

When the onions have softened, add 1 lb. ground beef, 1 tsp salt, 1 tsp ground black pepper, and 1 tsp dried oregano.

Pastitsio (Greek Lasagna) 4

When the beef is mostly done, add 1 28-oz can diced tomatoes and stir.

Pastitsio (Greek Lasagna) 5

In a separate bowl, add 1 16-oz container small curd cottage cheese, 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese, and 2 eggs. Mix thoroughly and set aside.

Pastitsio (Greek Lasagna) 6

Pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees.

Time to assemble the pastitsio. Below from left there's the bowl of cheese, ground beef and tomatoes, bechamel sauce, and bucatini.

Pastitsio (Greek Lasagna) 7

I start with a light layer of mostly sauce with some beef and tomatoes to keep the pasta from sticking to the pan.

Pastitsio (Greek Lasagna) 8

I make two layers so divide everything in half. I like to layer the bucatini in a row, although you don't have to be so precise if you don't want to.

Pastitsio (Greek Lasagna) 9

Spoon half of the meat and tomato mixture on top.

Pastitsio (Greek Lasagna) 10

Then add half of the cottage cheese mixture on top of that.

Pastitsio (Greek Lasagna) 11

Add the rest of the bucatini.

Pastitsio (Greek Lasagna) 12

And the rest of the beef and tomato sauce.

Pastitsio (Greek Lasagna) 13

And the rest of the cottage cheese mixture.

Pastitsio (Greek Lasagna) 14

Then pour all of the bechamel sauce on top.

Pastitsio (Greek Lasagna) 15

Sprinkle some more nutmeg on top. Love that nutmeg!

Pastitsio (Greek Lasagna) 16

Bake for at least half an hour to 45 minutes.

Pastitsio (Greek Lasagna) 17

This was the pastitsio fresh and warm from the oven.

Pastitsio (Greek Lasagna) 18

Serve with a Greek Salad.


Who else made pastitsio?
Peter of Kalofagas added allspice and a pinch of cinnamon to his Bolognese sauce.

I'm submitting this recipe to Regional Recipes, a food blogging event created by Darlene of Blazing Hot Wok, in which a different culture and cuisine is explored each month. Please read the Regional Recipe rules to see if you'd like to participate. The host of the inaugural event is Darlene herself and she chose to spotlight Greece. I'm next month's host so I hope you participate!

And since Regional Recipes is about celebrating the region, did you read my posts about Greece?
Agios Georgios, Corfu Town, and Vidos Island, Corfu - Greece
Glass Bottom Boat, Corfu - Greece
Gaios, Paxos Island - Greece
Parga - Greece

1 year ago today, Roasted Potatoes with Rosemary and Duck Fat.
2 years ago today, the first dragonfruits from my garden.


  1. Thank you for participating!

    I just had this on Sunday at a place in Beaverton called The Mad Greek. So delicious! I'm going to try making a meatless version with spinach.

  2. A job well done on the Pastitsio. I employ tossing Bechamel and some meat sauce with pasta to hold things together and keep things creamy.

    Thanks for the link and for enjoying Greek food.

  3. Say, this looks good. I'm going to have to make it. I'll have to grab some bucatini from Mona Lisa this weekend. I hear it will be cooler, so perfect weather to blaze the oven.

  4. I'm a sucker for bucatini. I can't help it, I like its hole (hollow center) too much! =D

  5. lasagna is my absolute fave, and the greek version looks great. And I am now majorly craving for lasagna :)

  6. My family loves any pasta, so we will surely enjoy this dish! :) The addition of nutmeg is simply perfect!

  7. oo.. This look like another freezer friendly dish to me!

  8. I want that bucatini! Never tried cooking this pasta before :O

  9. Darlene,
    There's a Mad Greek down here too! Wonder if it's a chain or just a popular name?

    I've seen other recipes employ that method too. I was being silly and wanted everything layered and lined up.


    Jan Frederick,
    I hope you do. Let me know how it goes.

    Bucatini can be pretty fun to work with. I tried a regular tomato sauce with it once and that didn't really work for me.

    I still have to get around to posting my regular lasagna recipe. Too many things in the queue.

    The nutmeg in the bechamel sauce is really what makes this stand out.

    It made lots, so very freezer-friendly for sure.

    A new pasta for you? I hope you can find some in Singapore.

  10. I loved this dish! Really liked the way you showed it step by step. So it's kind of a noodle lasagna, no?
    Thanks for the idea.

  11. Rita,
    Exactly, lasagna with a different kind of noodle. :)

  12. Hey there, I finally made this yesterday...actually, I completed it yesterday. I made a meat sauce on Saturday (enough for this dish and something else in the future). I assembled everything except the bechamel on Sunday, and reheated it yeaterday, topped it with bechamel, and thenheated it for another 1/2 hour.

    Although my bechamel wis a bit too thin, it was still very tasty. I threw some roasted pistachios into the meat sauce and that worked out well. I and my family thank you for the recipe(s).

    By the way, for any readers in San Diego, there is a new shop called La Jolla Butcher Shop in...well La Jolla. The beef they selll is grass-fed locally. Super fresh and the best darned ground beef I've ever had. The jerky is good too, so if any of you are ever in the area, look it up. The prices aren't as bad as you'd think.

  13. I guess you could call my version pistachio pastitsio. :)

  14. Jan Frederick,
    Yay! Glad you and your family liked it. Hehe. Pistachio Pastitsio. Say that 10 times fast!

  15. i simply loveee all kinds of lasagna and i think i'd love to bathe in bechamel sauce LOL

  16. yum! does it taste as good as it looks??

  17. MCR,
    My sister thought the bechamel was the best part. She says she might like it more than regular lasagna.

    I froze some extra so you can have it next time you're home. Well, if lil' sis doesn't eat it all first.


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