Thursday, March 10, 2011


Pastitsio (Greek: παστίτσιο; [pastitsio]) or macaronia tou fournou (Greek: μακαρόνια του φούρνου), which is the term mainly used in Cyprus, is a Greek or generally Middle Eastern baked pasta dish including pasta, meat sauce, and a custard or béchamel sauce. The dish comes from the Italian tradition of "pasticcio (di pasta)", literally mess or scramble {source Wikipedia}

I've seen this dish floating around the internet, quite a bit lately. On blogs, then mentioned on Cooking for your family. Intrigued to see if it really did taste a good as everyone claimed it did; I jumped on the pastitsio band wagon. One thing I looked for is a recipe that wasn't too involved. Though I love to cook, I don't really have that much time to spend in the kitchen, unless Hubby is home. Little hands always seem to find something to get into and my stress free time in the kitchen turns into a stress filled dash to get it done, so I can become the warden again, LOL.


One of the ladies on CFYF shared this version, which she got from Taste of Home. They are quickly becoming one of my favorite recipe sources and I recently subscribed to their magazine. I liked that this recipe was pretty straight forward. Meat sauce, bechamel and pasta. I could handle that.

I was a bit hesitant about the cinnamon in the recipe. I think of cinnamon as a sweet spice, not savory. I did however want to get the full effect of the recipe, so I used it. Let's just say it was interesting. The meat sauce by itself was sweet; something we aren't used to. But, with the creamy bechamel layer, everything just melded into a very delicious exotic flavor. The kids only ended up eating the bechamel layer, LOL. No amount of explaining that they should eat both layers together helped. The guys (Hubby and my nephew) both inhaled this, as if they hadn't eaten in weeks. So, now we finally know why everyone is so crazy about this dish. It's pretty darn tasty!

Adapted from Taste of Home December 2010
Printable version

7 oz uncooked elbow macaroni
1 lb ground beef or lamb
1 med onion chopped
1 garlic clove minced
8 oz tomato sauce
1 teaspoon salt, divided
¼ teaspoon oregano
1/8 teaspoon pepper
¼ teaspoon cinnamon
½ c. Grated Parmesan
3 Tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons flour
1 ½ cups milk
1 egg beaten

Cook macaroni according to package

Cook beef, onion, and garlic until beef is no longer pink, drain. Stir in tomato sauce, ½ t. salt, oregano, pepper, and cinnamon.

Drain Macaroni and place ½ in greased 9 inch square baking pan. Sprinkle with ¼ cup cheese. Layer meat and macaroni. Set aside

In small saucepan, melt butter, stir in flour and salt and stir until smooth. Gradually add milk. Bring to boil and stir for 2 minutes or until thickened.

Remove from heat. Stir a little of the hot mixture into the egg. Return all to pan stirring constantly. Bring to boil. Return to heat and cook and stir for 2 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in cheese.
Pour sauce over macaroni.

Bake uncovered at 350º for 30-35 minutes. Let stand 10 minutes before serving.

Cindy's notes: I used Ditali pasta, instead of macaroni. This could be made with any kind of tube pasta.

This post linked to
Tasty Tuesday (33 Shades of Green)


Brenda said...

It's delicious, isn't it? I loved it. Somehow cinnamon does end up working in savory dishes. I don't know how, but it does, lol! And I LOVE Taste of Home!

Brittany said...

This looks great! I will have to try this one soon! Thanks for sharing!!!

Moogie said...

I'm a lover of all things pasta. Now I have another wonderful recipe to try.... thanks.

Miriam said...

I'm sure I could sub "fake beef" crumbles in this, it looks delicious!! Miriam@Meatless Meals For Meat Eaters

Miz Helen said...

Oh yes! This Pastitsio is pure comfort for me. It just looks delicious. Thank you so much for sharing with Full Plate Thursday and please come back!

christi said...

i made this the other week and it was amazing!

Debbi Does Dinner Healthy said...

Major yum! Mouth is watering looking at it!

Would you like to submit this to presto pasta nights this week? I am hosting this week, details are on my blog. I would love to add this to the round up on Friday, thanks!

Kristin said...

oooh, i love pastitio! it's like mac & cheese & spaghetti rolled into one... yummmmmmy!

i'm hosting a blog hop called mangia mondays & would love for you to join!


Miranda said...

I have not heard of this dish yet, but it looks tasty. Sometimes I throw caution to the wind and make recipes as is too, as hard as it may be. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't! Thanks for linking up to Fat Camp Friday! Hope to see you again next week!

Claire said...

This looks like the ultimate in comfort food. Thanks for sending it over to Presto Pasta Nights!

The Food Hunter said...

I've made a version of this before and loved it. Yours looks great.

Claudia said...

I know what you mean about seeing this dish floating around on the foodie web for some time now, and wondering when I'd get around to trying t. You've convinced me.

Carole said...

Hi there. This week's Food on Friday is all about lamb! So it would be great if you linked this in. This is the link . Have a good week.