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Nikki's Perfect Pastitsio Recipe
Nikki's Perfect Pastitsio Recipe photo by Taste of Home

Nikki's Perfect Pastitsio Recipe

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4.5 16
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My mother used to work so hard in the kitchen to make this classic Greek dish, and the results were always well worth her effort. My recipe for pastitsio is easier, a bit lighter and every bit as great as Mom's.—Nikki Tsangaris, Westfield, Indiana
TOTAL TIME: Prep: 45 min. Bake: 50 min.
MAKES:12 servings
TOTAL TIME: Prep: 45 min. Bake: 50 min.
MAKES: 12 servings

Ingredients

  • 2-1/2 cups uncooked penne pasta
  • 2 tablespoons butter, melted
  • 1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1-1/2 pounds ground sirloin
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 can (15 ounces) tomato sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 cup shredded Parmesan cheese, divided
  • BECHAMEL SAUCE:
  • 1/2 cup butter, cubed
  • 2/3 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 4 cups 2% milk
  • 2 large eggs

Nutritional Facts

1 piece equals 332 calories, 18 g fat (10 g saturated fat), 98 mg cholesterol, 718 mg sodium, 24 g carbohydrate, 1 g fiber, 20 g protein.

Directions

  1. Cook pasta according to package directions; drain. Toss with butter; add grated Parmesan cheese. Transfer to a greased 13x9-in. baking dish.
  2. Preheat oven to 350°. In a large skillet, cook beef and onion over medium heat 8-10 minutes or until beef is no longer pink, breaking beef into crumbles; drain. Add garlic; cook 2 minutes longer. Stir in tomato sauce, salt and cinnamon; heat through. Spoon over pasta. Sprinkle with 1/2 cup shredded Parmesan cheese.
  3. In a large saucepan, melt butter. Stir in flour, salt and pepper until smooth; gradually add milk. Bring to a boil; cook and stir 1-2 minutes or until thickened.
  4. In a small bowl, whisk a small amount of hot mixture into eggs; return all to pan, whisking constantly. Bring to a gentle boil; cook and stir 2 minutes. Pour over beef mixture. Sprinkle with remaining cheese.
  5. Bake, covered, 20 minutes. Bake, uncovered, 30-40 minutes longer or until golden brown. Yield: 12 servings.
Originally published as Nikki's Perfect Pastitsio in Taste of Home December 2013

Nutritional Facts

1 piece equals 332 calories, 18 g fat (10 g saturated fat), 98 mg cholesterol, 718 mg sodium, 24 g carbohydrate, 1 g fiber, 20 g protein.

Full-Bodied White Wine

Enjoy this recipe with a full-bodied white wine such as Chardonnay or Viognier.

Reviews for Nikki's Perfect Pastitsio

AVERAGE RATING
   (17)
RATING DISTRIBUTION
5 Star
 (10)
4 Star
 (6)
3 Star
 (1)
2 Star
 (0)
1 Star
 (0)
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MY REVIEW
Reviewed Jul. 6, 2015

"This recipe is a new favorite * I scaled it down to serve just 2. Perfect size for both of us. The cinnamon remains an unidentifiable ingredient * In a very good way. It really adds a nice taste level to the Tomato/Meat mixture * You know there's something different in the mix. But you will never guess its Cinnamon * literally makes the sauce "Speak " My newest winner *

Janie TOH Volunteer FE"

MY REVIEW
Reviewed Jun. 29, 2015

"This was amazing. You must plan ahead! We loved the warmth the cinnamon brought. I changed the noodles for what I had on hand, and some of the cheese. *I ran out of parm* but I can't imagine it tasting any better!"

MY REVIEW
Reviewed May. 28, 2015

"Great."

MY REVIEW
Reviewed May. 23, 2015 Edited May. 27, 2015

"Good dish, but takes a while to make. Also the bechamel sauce was a little too much."

MY REVIEW
Reviewed Jan. 18, 2015

"Was good but next time will leave the cinnamon out because my family didn't like it."

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