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My Greek Pastitsio ©

February 16, 2017






This is a well known Greek recipe and every household has its own version! You will also often see it in tavernas, where it is made in large roasting tins, ‘Tapsia,’ and cut into squares and served usually with distinct separate layers, pasta, meat and on top a thick layer of béchamel.

My recipe is a much lighter version and has less white sauce, but is equally delicious and I really do recommend you to try it, as in our house it is a favourite and I make it often!

Especially for H, J, and I !










Preparation time: 30 minutes

Cooking Time : 30 minutes

4-6 Persons




1/2  kilo of good quality minced beef

1 onion finely diced

3-4 tbs olive oil

small glass of white wine

1  heaped tbs tomato puree

Salt, pepper and grated nutmeg


For the Pasta

250 g Short pasta tubes ( 1 tsp salt for the boiling water)

2 egg whites beaten


For the béchamel sauce

1/2-3/4 pint milk

50 g butter

2 heaped tbs flour

125 g grated mixed cheeses

1/2 tsp or more of finely grated nutmeg

2 egg yolks

25 g Parmesan to grate on the top

Salt and pepper


Method : Preheat oven to 200.C. Cook for 1/2-3/4 hour.

  1. Gather all your ingredients together, before starting to cook.
  2. Peel and finely dice your onion.
  3. Pour the olive oil into medium sized saucepan and add chopped onion. Sauté until transparent, 2-3 minutes stirring with a wooden spoon.
  4. Add minced beef and stir until all the meat is completely sealed and brown.
  5. Add wine and cook for three minutes for the alcohol to evaporate.
  6. Season with salt to taste, freshly ground black pepper and finely grated nutmeg.
  7. Add a small glass of water, in which you have diluted the tomato puree and leave to simmer for 30 minutes. Nearly all the liquid should have been absorbed.



Bring a large saucepan of salted water to the boil.
Add your pasta, stir and simmer until just cooked, 10-15 minutes.
Drain, rinse under cold water briefly. Mix in your beaten egg whites.


Béchamel Sauce

  1. In a small saucepan melt your butter.
  2. As soon as it has melted add flour and stir continuously  with a whisk, until it froths up. 1-2 minutes only, don’t let it change colour!
  3. Add all your ‘cold’ milk  ‘all at once’ and stay with it stirring continuously, until it thickens, or it will go lumpy!
  4. Boil it for 2 minutes to cook flour and remove from the heat.
  5. Add cheese and once it has cooled a little, (3 minutes), add egg yolks. Mix well.


Assembling  the Pastitsio

Now you are ready to assemble the Pastitsio. Using a suitable oven-proof dish butter it lightly. Add the pasta to the mince meat in the saucepan. Mix well and pour into buttered dish. Flatten off the top and pour over your béchamel sauce. Flatten off again with a spatula, tidy round the edges with kitchen paper and grate over a nice layer of parmesan. Again tidy the edges using kitchen paper, as once the cheese browns any left on the edges will look messy.

If not eating straight away, cover your dish with cling film. Reserve in or out of the fridge depending on how soon you are going to cook it. If you are going to cook it in the evening reserve out of the fridge, otherwise refrigerate and remove from fridge one hour beforehand to reach room temperature.

Bake in a pre-heated oven at 200.C for half an hour. If the cheese on top browns before all the mixture is bubbling, cover with tin foil.


Cook’s Note : Béchamel is the french for white sauce.



This is what you are aiming for.


My Greek Pastitsio ©


Gather all your ingredients together, before starting to cook.


For The Meat Sauce.


Gather ingredients together before starting to cook.



Place olive oil in medium sized saucepan and add peeled finely chopped onion.



Sauté onions until transparent. 3-5 minutes.



Add minced beef and stir over strong heat until all the meat has sealed and browned…



…… like this.



Add the wine and cook for three minutes to evaporate alcohol. Dilute tomato puree in a small glass of water and add. Leave to simmer over a low heat until all the liquid has been absorbed.

Put pasta onto boil in large saucepan of salted boiling water.


Béchamel Sauce



Gather together your ingredients.



Melt butter in small saucepan.


Add flour and stir continuously until it is frothing up, 1-2 minutes. Don’t let it brown!



Add ‘cold’ milk ‘all at once’ and stir continuously until it thickens and comes to the boil. Boil stirring for two minutes to cook flour. Season and add nutmeg. Remove from heat and after 5 minutes add egg yolks.


Separate eggs, beat whites with a fork.



Drain past briefly rinse under cold water and mix in  beaten egg whites.


Assembling Pastitsio.


Choose suitable 25 X 25 cm oven proof dish.

Mix past with meat sauce in saucepan first.


Fill serving dish up to half way with the meat and pasta and flatten out with a large spoon.



Pour over béchamel sauce.



Grate with parmesan cheese and tidy edges with kitchen paper. This is important or the cheese burns on the side of the dish and does not present well at the end.

When ready to eat place in pre-heated oven at 200.C for 1/2 -3/4 to of an hour. If the cheese browns too much, cover with tin foil for the rest of the cooking time.


A wonderful warming winter recipe!










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