Easy Greek Pastitsio Recipe: This Baked Penne Pasta Recipe Is a Keeper by 30Seconds Food
Pastitsio is a Greek baked pasta dish that's made with ground meat (usually lamb but sometimes beef), béchamel sauce and bolognese sauce. The pasta recipe is popular all over the Mediterranean. The layered baked pasta casserole is not that hard to make. We bet that after one bite, it will become part of your dinner recipe rotation.
The easy bolognese is made with olive oil, ground lamb or ground beef, onion, garlic, red wine, ground cinnamon, ground cumin, dried oregano, crushed tomatoes and tomato paste. Penne pasta that's been cooked to al dente is stirred in for the final step. After making the lamb bolognese, it's time to make the béchamel sauce. This creamy white sauce is made with olive oil or butter (you decide), all-purpose flour, whole milk, nutmeg, white pepper (you could use black pepper), grated Parmesan cheese, eggs and Greek yogurt. The ingredients are put into a casserole dish or ovenproof skillet and baked for about 30 minutes.
Serve this easy pastitsio with a salad (we're thinking a Greek salad) and hot-out-of-the-oven bread. The pasta recipe reheats well for leftovers or lunch the next day.
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour and 10 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour and 20 minutes
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 pounds ground lamb or ground beef
- 1 onion, chopped
- 6 cloves garlic, minced
- 1/2 cup red wine
- 3 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- 2 teaspoons ground cumin
- 2 teaspoons dried oregano
- 1 can (28 ounces) crushed tomatoes
- 1 tablespoon tomato paste
- 3 tablespoons olive oil or butter
- 1/4 cup flour
- 2 1/2 cups whole milk
- 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1/4 teaspoon white pepper
- 1 cup grated Parmesan cheese (divided)
- 1/2 cup plain Greek yogurt
- 2 eggs
- 3/4 pound penne pasta, cooked according to package directions for al dente
Here's how to make it:
- To make the bolognese, heat the olive oil in a large pot over medium-high heat. Add the ground lamb and onion. Season with salt and pepper. Cook, breaking it up as you stir, until cooked through, about 10 minutes. Drain fat. Add the garlic and cook 30 seconds. Add the wine and cook until it has evaporated, about 2 minutes. Add the cinnamon, cumin, oregano and black pepper, to taste. Cook, stirring, 1 minute. Add the tomatoes and tomato paste, reduce heat to low, cover and cook for about 20 minutes.
- To make the béchamel, heat the olive oil or butter in a skillet. Whisk in the flour until smooth. Whisk in 1 cup of the milk until smooth, then add the remaining milk. Continue to whisk until smooth and beginning to thicken. Season with salt, to taste, and add the white pepper, nutmeg and 1/2 cup Parmesan. Stir until melted and smooth. Set aside to cool for 10 minutes. After it has cooled, whisk in the eggs and yogurt.
- To assemble, add the cooked penne to the bolognese sauce. Stir to combine. Pour the mixture into an ovenproof skillet or baking dish. Top with the béchamel and remaining 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese. Bake in a preheated 400-degree F oven for about 30 minutes.
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