Greek Pastisio with Béchamel

November 30, 2022

Greek Pastisio with Béchamel

  • 1 pound dry ziti pasta
  • 4 Tbs. + 2 Tbs. + ½ cup + 1 Tbs. Ultra Premium Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • ¼ cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • sea salt and pepper to taste
  • 3 large eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, crushed
  • 1 pound lean ground beef
  • ½ pound lean ground lamb
  • 1 cup crushed tomatoes
  • ½ cup dry red wine
  • ½ cup chicken broth
  • ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 2 Tbs. fresh parsley, chopped
  • ½ cup all-purpose flour
  • 3 cups milk
  • ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1 large egg, lightly beaten
  • sea salt and fresh ground pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 350ºF.

Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Add ziti and cook for 8 to 10 minutes. Drain thoroughly and allow to cool slightly. Whisk 4 tablespoons olive oil with eggs, Parmesan cheese, pepper, and salt. Pour over ziti and set aside.

To make meat sauce heat 2 tablespoons olive olive oil in a saute pan over medium-high heat. Sauté the onions until soft and transclucent. Increase heat and add ground beef and lamb and cook until the meat browns. Add tomatoes, wine, broth, parsley, oregano, cinnamon, salt and pepper. Cover and simmer over low heat for 20 minutes.

To make the béchamel, ½ cup olive oil in saucepan and stir in flour. Cook over medium-low heat, stirring frequently for 2 minutes. Pour in milk all at once and bring to a boil, stirring constantly. Boil gently for 1 minute. Add the nutmeg, salt, pepper and cool slightly before stirring in beaten egg.

Transfer ½ cup of the béchamel to the meat sauce. To assemble pastitsio, grease a 9"x13" baking dish with 1 tablespoon olive oil. Spoon half of the prepared ziti evenly in the bottom and top with meat sauce. Top that with remaining ziti. Pour on the remaining béchamel sauce and spread to completely cover ziti. Sprinkle remaining cheese on top. Bake in a preheated oven for 50 minutes or until golden brown. Let stand 10 minutes before cutting into squares to serve.

Serves 8

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