Perfect Pastitsio

    1 hour 20 min

    A traditional Greek dish made by layering cheesy macaroni and a meat and tomato sauce together, then topping the dish with a white sauce, before being baked to perfection.

    84 people made this

    Serves: 6 

    • 225g macaroni
    • 1 egg, beaten
    • 4 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
    • 450g plum tomatoes
    • 450g lean minced beef
    • 4 tablespoons chopped onions
    • 1 clove garlic, finely chopped
    • 225g passata
    • 4 tablespoons chicken stock
    • 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
    • 1 tablespoon chilli powder
    • 1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
    • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
    • 3 tablespoons butter or margarine
    • 3 tablespoons plain flour
    • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
    • 350ml milk
    • 1 egg, beaten
    • 4 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese

    Prep:45min  ›  Cook:30min  ›  Extra time:5min resting  ›  Ready in:1hr20min 

    1. Preheat oven to 180 C / Gas 4.
    2. Bring a large saucepan of lightly salted water to the boil. Add macaroni and cook for 8 to 10 minutes or until al dente; drain. Combine macaroni, 1 beaten egg, 4 tablespoons Parmesan and set aside.
    3. To make the meat sauce: Drop the plum tomatoes in boiling water for about 45 seconds. Peel the skin off then seed and chop. Cook minced beef, onion and garlic together in a frying pan until meat is brown and onion is tender. Drain off fat. Stir in fresh tomatoes, passata, chicken stock, vinegar, chilli powder, allspice, cinnamon and salt. Bring to the boil; reduce heat and simmer uncovered for 15 to 20 minutes until thick. You don't want the sauce to be watery.
    4. To make the white sauce: Melt margarine in a saucepan and stir in flour and pepper. Add the milk all at once. Cook and stir until smooth, thick and bubbly. In a bowl, combine about half of the mixture with 1 beaten egg. Return the egg mixture into the saucepan with the remaining white sauce. Stir in 4 tablespoons Parmesan.
    5. In a square glass baking dish, add 1/2 the pasta mixture. Next, add all of the meat sauce. Then, the remainder of the pasta and top with all of the white sauce. Sprinkle lightly with cinnamon, if desired.
    6. Bake in preheated oven for 30 to 35 minutes. Let stand about 5 minutes before serving. The white sauce will firm when cooked.

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    Reviews & ratings
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    Reviews in English (70)


    loved it! the only thing is the chilli. I won't be putting any in next time, I felt it dominated it a little bit. but apart from that it was great. Sauce lovely.  -  25 Oct 2016


    Have been using this recipe for years and decided it was time I thank David for publishing and sharing. David, I'm a professional chef/caterer, and there's no better authentic pastitsio than this recipe, right down to the red wine vinegar. It's perfect the way it is written. For those of you who change it until it's unrecognizable, and then review it, shame on you. Prepare it the way it's written, and if you want to change it drastically ---- publish your own recipe, don't review this one.  -  13 Nov 2011  (Review from Allrecipes US | Canada)


    Delicious! My husband loved this recipe. I used extra lean hamburger and skim milk in the white sauce and it didn't taste like I'd used anything low calorie. Very good!!!  -  14 Oct 2001  (Review from Allrecipes US | Canada)