A twitter friend tweeted that she made a great Pastitsio casserole for dinner. I have never tried Pastitsio, so I was intrigued. I looked over several recipes and decided to give it a try.
There are three components to this dish – pasta, meat sauce and béchamel sauce. This takes a little bit of work, but it is SOOO worth it! The most unique thing about this dish, to me, is the cinnamon in the meat sauce. It gives the dish a real distinct flavor.
I made this dish all at one time. It takes a while. It is something I would make on a weekend when I had more time. Next time I might make this on a Sunday and refrigerate for dinner on Monday night.
- 8 oz ziti, cooked
- 3 Tbsp butter
- 6 oz shredded Parmesan cheese, divided
- 1 1/2 lean ground beef
- 1 medium onion, diced
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 2 (8oz) cans tomato sauce
- 1 tsp salt, divided
- 1/2 tsp cinnamon
- 1/4 tsp pepper
- 1/2 cup butter
- 2/3 cup flour
- 4 cups milk (1% is fine)
- 2 eggs
Preheat oven to 350. Lightly grease a 9×13-inch pan. Set aside.
Toss hot pasta with 3 Tbsp of butter and 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese. Pour into prepared pan.
Cook ground beef, onion and garlic in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Drain. Stir in tomato sauce, 3/4 tsp salt, cinnamon and pepper. Spread over pasta in prepared pan.
Melt 1/2 cup butter in a heavy saucepan over low heat. Whisk in flour. Cook, whisking constantly, 1 minute. Whisk in milk. Cook over medium heat, whisking constantly, until thick and bubbly. Stir in remaining 1/4 tsp salt. Remove from heat.
Whisk eggs until thick and pale. Whisk about 1 cup of milk mixture into eggs. Pour into remaining milk mixture and whisk constantly until combined.
Pour milk mixture over pasta sauce. Top with remaining Parmesan cheese.
Bake for 1 hour or until golden brow.