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Phyllo-Layered Pastichio

My grandfather always made pastichio on special occasions or when we had guests coming for dinner. I cherish the happy memories I have of him teaching me how to cook one of his signature dishes. —Tina Waisman, Safety Harbor, Florida
  • Total Time
    Prep: 1 hour Bake: 35 min. + standing
  • Makes
    2 casseroles (6 servings each)


  • 1-1/2 pounds ground beef
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1 can (15 ounces) tomato sauce
  • 1/4 cup white wine or beef broth
  • 1 cinnamon stick (3 inches)
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 pound ziti or other small tube pasta
  • 1-1/3 cups grated Romano cheese
  • 4 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 3/4 cup butter, melted, divided
  • 20 sheets phyllo dough (14x9 inches)


  • Preheat oven to 350°. In a large skillet, cook beef, onion and garlic over medium heat 6-8 minutes or until meat is no longer pink, breaking up beef into crumbles; drain.
  • Stir in tomato sauce, wine, cinnamon stick, bay leaf, sugar, salt and pepper. Bring to a boil; reduce heat and simmer 20-25 minutes or until thickened, stirring occasionally. Discard cinnamon stick and bay leaf.
  • Meanwhile, cook ziti according to package directions for al dente. Drain and return to pan. Stir in cheese, eggs and 1/4 cup butter.
  • Place 1 sheet of phyllo dough on a work surface; brush with butter. Layer with 9 additional phyllo sheets, brushing each layer. (Keep remaining phyllo covered with a damp towel to prevent it from drying out.) Cut phyllo stack crosswise in half; place a stack in each of 2 greased 8-in. square baking dishes.
  • In each dish, layer 2 cups pasta mixture and 1 cup sauce. Repeat layers. Prepare a second stack of 10 phyllo sheets, brushing each with butter; cut in half and place a stack over each dish.
  • Bake, uncovered, 35-40 minutes or until golden brown. Let stand 15 minutes before cutting.
    Freeze option: Cool unbaked casseroles; cover and freeze. To use, partially thaw in refrigerator overnight. Remove from refrigerator 30 minutes before baking. Preheat oven to 350°. Bake casseroles as directed, increasing time to 60-70 minutes or until golden brown and a thermometer inserted in center reads 165°.
Nutrition Facts
1 piece: 484 calories, 25g fat (13g saturated fat), 130mg cholesterol, 684mg sodium, 42g carbohydrate (4g sugars, 2g fiber), 25g protein.

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  • Michele
    Dec 29, 2019

    the directions in no way resemble the picture of what is supposedly the finished dish. they say to layer the pastichio beginning with the phylo on the bottom, yet the phylo is shown on top. also, the finished picture shows the meat sauce mixed in with the pasta when the recipe instructs these are to be layered. this isn't pastichio, but at least show a picture of what the dish should look like!

  • Claudia
    Nov 14, 2018

    You can sub 1/2 t ground cinnamon for the 3" STICK..

  • bonito15
    Jan 27, 2018

    I love that this is in 2 8 inch pans so one can be frozen. The phyllo makes it just so crusty and delicious, I am a first time make of this and it won't be the last. Great idea