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Phyllo-Layered Pastichio Recipe

Phyllo-Layered Pastichio Recipe

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 YIELD:12 servings


  • 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)


  • 1. 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.
  • 2. 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.
  • 3. Meanwhile, cook ziti according to package directions for al dente. Drain and return to pan. Stir in cheese, eggs and 1/4 cup butter.
  • 4. Place one sheet of phyllo dough on a work surface; brush with butter. Layer with nine additional phyllo sheets, brushing each layer. (Keep remaining phyllo covered with plastic wrap and a damp towel to prevent it from drying out.) Cut phyllo stack crosswise in half; place one stack in each of two greased 8-in. square baking dishes.
  • 5. 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 one stack over each dish.
  • 6. 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°. Yield: 2 casseroles (6 servings each).

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