Pastitsio (Greek pasta bake)  recipe provided by the Certified Angus Beef® brand.

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Pastitsio (Greek pasta bake)

Cuisine: Greek
Category: Pasta & Rice Dishes
This Greek pasta bake resembles Italian lasagna, but it does have unique flavors and textures your family will crave. Allow ample time to rest the casserole after baking to properly set up.
Prep Time
30 mins
Other Time
30 mins
Cook Time
2 hrs
Total Time
3 hrs
  • 2 pounds Certified Angus Beef ® ground beef, 90% lean
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 small onion, diced (about 1 cup)
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3 1/2 teaspoons coarse kosher salt, divided
  • 1 teaspoon fresh cracked pepper
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 2 teaspoons dried oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1/4 cup tomato paste
  • 1/2 cup red wine
  • 1 (28-ounce) can crushed tomatoes
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 3 cups whole milk
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 5 ounces grated pecorino Romano (about 1 1/4 cups)
  • 2 whole eggs
  • 12 ounces dried ziti or penne pasta (about 4 cups)
  1. In a large sauce pan heat olive oil over medium-low heat. Add onions and garlic; cook until translucent, 3 to 4 minutes. Increase heat to medium high and stir in ground beef, 2-teaspoons salt and 1-teaspoon pepper. Sear beef while breaking up with spoon for 8 to 10 minutes or until no pink remains.
  2. Stir in cinnamon, oregano, thyme and tomato paste; cook two minutes, stirring occasionally. Pour in wine, cook another 2 minutes. Stir in crushed tomatoes, 1/2 cup water and 1-teaspoon salt. Bring to a brief boil, reduce heat to low, simmer 30 minutes until meat sauce is thick. Remove from heat and set beef sauce aside while making béchamel sauce.
  3. In another sauce pan melt butter over medium heat and whisk in flour. Cook 2 minutes while whisking. Stir in milk, bring to a rolling boil to thicken, stirring occasionally to prevent milk from scorching, about 10 minutes. Once thickened, stir in 1/2-teaspoon salt, 1-cup pecorino and nutmeg; whisk to combine and remove from heat. Cool at least 10 minutes, then crack in one egg at a time while vigorously whisking to incorporate eggs without cooking them.
  4. While béchamel sauce cools, cook pasta for 4 minutes less than the package suggests (around 6 to 8 minutes). Drain pasta and combine with 1-cup of béchamel sauce.
  5. Preheat oven to 350°F. Lightly spray a 9 by 13-inch casserole pan with cooking spray and layer the bottom with the pasta. Cover pasta with the beef sauce in one even layer, then cover with an even layer of the béchamel. Finish with remaining pecorino.
  6. Place casserole pan on a sheet tray and bake 45 minutes uncovered. Broil on high an additional 2 minutes if top hasn’t completely browned. Allow 20 to 30 minutes of resting before slicing and portioning.
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