Saturday, March 15, 2008

Pastitzio - Yum!!

When I was 4 years old, my family moved to Athens, Greece. I was raised to be a good eater, and wasn't a picky child (as long as you weren't feeding me raw onions, sweet potatoes, stuffing, or pumpkin pie). There was quite a bit of Greek food, though, that takes getting used to, especially if you have all the culinary sophistication of an American 4 year old.

The recipe I'm posting today is a bit complicated, but worth every bit of effort. It's the one Greek food I loved instantly, and it's the one I make periodically for friends. I think it's very acceptable for the American palate, but is still authentically Greek.

And after posting this, I may need to add the ingredients to my shopping list so that I can make's so yummy!!

I wasn't kidding - I was craving pastizio so much after writing this post that I made some for dinner at my folks' house. It was great, as always! It was Wendy's first time of eating it, and she had two big helpings. Even my picky 6-year-old nephew ate it!


1 lb penne pasta
2 egg whites, lightly beaten (save yolks for Bechamel sauce)
1.5 lb ground beef
8.5 oz parmesan cheese
1 C butter, melted
Half C of white wine
1 med onion, chopped
1 small can tomato paste diluted in 1.5 C of water
salt, pepper, cinnamon (all to taste)
1 portion of Bechemel sauce
crushed bread crumbs

Partially cook pasta in salted water. Put pasta in large bowl and pour half of melted butter over the pasta. Mix beaten egg whites with pasta. Sprinkle with half the parmesan. Set aside.

Use other half of melted butter to brown ground beef and onion. Add the wine, tomato paste diluted with water, salt, pepper, cinnamon. Simmer until liquid is absorbed. Remove from heat and add the remaining parmesan and 1/2 cup of the bread crumbs. Stir well.

Prepare Bechemel Sauce:
6T butter
8T Flour
4C Milk
2 egg yolks, beaten
salt and pepper

Melt butter in skillet. Pour in flour. Stir until creamy and mixture is very slightly brown. Slowly add warm to milk, stirring constantly to make a gravy. Add salt and pepper. Spoon small amount of gravy into beaten egg yolks, stirring quickly to prevent eggs from scrambling. Add more gravy, stirring constantly. Add egg mixture to the rest of the gravy and stir in.

To assemble Pastizio:

Butter 9x13 pan. Sprinkle bottom with bread crumbs. Spread half of pasta evenly. Spread evenly with meat mixture. Spread rest of pasta mixture over meat. Pour bechemel sauce over all. Sprinkle with parmesan, then crushed bread crumbs. Pour 2T melted butter over all. Bake in 350 oven - 30 minutes or until golden brown.

For more yummy recipes, head over to Saturday Stirrings at FiddleDeeDee!


Kim said...

This sounds so delicious! I'm copying the recipe right now, and just might have to make this for supper. Thanks so much!

Carol said...

Definitely going to try this sometime soon! Thanks for sharing it. Carol @ I Throw Like a Girl

Rick Rack Attack said...

I love Greek food! I especially love feta cheese! I'll have to give this a try.

Stop on by for a visit at Made some Kiss Me I'm Irish Beef & Cabbage yesterday & posted the recipe. Come on over, I'll fix you a plate!

Farrah said...

Hubby has to help me with cooking do to disability, but if I can get him to help me with this, we'll surely try it! (He doesn't like anything involved. LOL!)

Heather said...

This sound so good!

I'm glad I re-read thru your previous posts. My hubby wants chocolate/pb pie for Easter. I knew I had seen it somewhere! Now I know where!

Jill said...

This sounds really good.
I may have to give it a try, maybe the kiddos will even like it. :0)

Fiddledeedee (It Coulda' Been Worse) said...

This looks really really good. I gotta give it a try!

Sam Sotiropoulos said...

Hi Jeni,

Pastitzio has always been one of my faves! Have you tried using the No.2 Greek spaghetti? It is a long pasta like spaghetti, but it is tutbular hollow all the way through. You should be able to find it at the better stocked supermarkets in your area.

You may also find my Greek food blog of some interest:

Be Well,


Sam Sotiropoulos said...


If all else fails, you can find the No. 2 Greek Pastitzio past at, see:

Misko #2 Pastichio Macaroni (500 grams)

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