Olympic Pizza Family Restaurant has great pizza, but they also specialize in delicious Greek fare. Owner Stella Giannaris shares this traditional baked pasta recipe. Try it yourself, then order it from Olympic Pizza to see how well you did!
Pastitsio is a traditional Greek baked pasta dish with ground beef and béchamel sauce, and is served as a main course with a side of vegetables or a salad. It’s a layered casserole with layers of pasta (penne or ziti) tossed in egg and Parmesan cheese, meat sauce, more pasta, and béchamel sauce .
First we prepare the meat layer. In a sauté pan we melt 3 tablespoons of butter and add one chopped onion. When the onions are soft we add the ground beef and cook until it is browned. Add salt, pepper, and 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon, a pinch of nutmeg, one tablespoon tomato paste and a little water. Cook for 7 minutes.
For the pasta layer we boil penne, then toss the penne in 2 beaten eggs. Add salt and Parmesan cheese.
For the top layer we prepare the béchamel sauce. Heat a quart of milk. Then in a pan, melt 7 tablespoons of butter and add 7 tablespoons of flour. Whisk the ingredients, adding slowly the hot milk. Keep stirring the sauce until it thickens . When it cooks down, stir in 1/2 teaspoon salt , pepper, 2 eggs, and a little nutmeg.
In a deep casserole dish layer half of the penne, the meat sauce, more penne, and the béchamel sauce.
Bake in the oven at 350 degrees until béchamel is golden brown ( about 40 minutes).
Let the Pastitsio sit for 30 minutes before you cut it, if it is too hot it will fall apart.