Main Course

60 min

4-6 servings

This recipe uses:

Yaya’s Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Shop Now
Yaya’s Extra Virgin Olive Oil


For the Meat Sauce:

  • 1 pound ground beef or lamb
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 can (14 ounces) crushed tomatoes
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1/2 cup red wine (optional)
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • Salt and pepper to taste

For the Pasta:

  • 1 pound penne or macaroni pasta
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • Salt for boiling water

For the Béchamel Sauce:

  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups milk
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 2 eggs, lightly beaten
  • Salt and pepper to taste

About the dish:

Pastitsio is a traditional Greek baked pasta dish that consists of layers of pasta, ground meat sauce, and creamy béchamel sauce. It is a rich and comforting dish, often enjoyed as a main course for special occasions or family gatherings. Here's a recipe to make Pastitsio:


  1. Start by preparing the meat sauce. In a large skillet, heat olive oil over medium heat. Add the chopped onion and minced garlic, and sauté until they become translucent and fragrant.
  2. Add the ground beef or lamb to the skillet and cook until browned and fully cooked through.
  3. Stir in the crushed tomatoes, tomato paste, red wine (if using), dried oregano, cinnamon, salt, and pepper. Reduce the heat to low and let the sauce simmer for about 20-30 minutes to allow the flavors to meld together
  4. While the meat sauce is simmering, cook the pasta according to the package instructions in a large pot of salted boiling water. Cook the pasta until al dente, as it will continue to cook in the oven later. Drain the cooked pasta and toss it with olive oil to prevent sticking.
  5. Preheat your oven to 350°F (175°C).
  6. Prepare the béchamel sauce. In a separate saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat. Stir in the flour and cook for a couple of minutes until it forms a paste-like consistency
  7. Gradually whisk in the milk, making sure to whisk out any lumps. Add the ground nutmeg, salt, and pepper. Continue cooking and stirring until the sauce thickens and coats the back of a spoon.
  8. Remove the saucepan from the heat. Temper the beaten eggs by gradually whisking in a small amount of the hot béchamel sauce. Once tempered, add the eggs to the sauce and whisk until well combined.
  9. Assemble the Pastitsio. Grease a deep baking dish or casserole dish with butter or cooking spray. Spread half of the cooked pasta evenly in the bottom of the dish.
  10. Pour the meat sauce over the pasta, spreading it evenly to cover the pasta layer.
  11. Layer the remaining pasta on top of the meat sauce.
  12. Pour the béchamel sauce over the pasta, spreading it evenly to cover the dish's surface
  13. Use a spatula or the back of a spoon to smooth the béchamel sauce and create decorative patterns if desired.
  14. Bake the Pastitsio in the preheated oven for about 45 minutes to 1 hour, or until the top is golden brown and bubbling.
  15. Remove the Pastitsio from the oven and let it rest for a few minutes before serving.
  16. Cut the Pastitsio into squares or rectangles and serve it warm.
  17. Greek dressing is a versatile and flavorful condiment that can be used to enhance the taste of various dishes, especially salads and grilled meats. Enjoy your homemade Greek dressing!
1 of 3