Pastitsio is one of my favorite dishes, perhaps because I am half Greek! I sometimes prepare it in disposable foil pans to give away as a food gift. Cinnamon and nutmeg are traditionally used in authentic Greek pastitsio, but can be omitted if desired.
- 8 ounces bucatini pasta or 8 ounces ziti pasta
- 3 tablespoons melted butter
- 1⁄3 cup grated parmesan cheese
- 1⁄3 cup milk
- 1 egg, beaten
- 1 lb ground beef
- 1⁄2 cup chopped onion
- 1 (8 ounce) can tomato sauce
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon dried mint flakes (optional)
- 1⁄2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1⁄8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1⁄8 teaspoon pepper
- 4 tablespoons butter
- 4 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 1⁄4 teaspoon salt
- 2 cups milk
- 1 egg, beaten
- 1⁄3 cup parmesan cheese
- Cook macaroni; drain, and return to pan.
- Stir in the melted butter, 1/3 cup Parmesan cheese, 1/3 cup milk, and the egg; set aside.
- In a a skillet or large saucepan, cook ground beef and onion until meat loses its pinkness and onion is soft; drain excess fat.
- Stir in tomato sauce, the 1 teaspoon salt, mint flakes (if used), cinnamon, nutmeg and pepper; set aside.
- In a saucepan, melt 4 tablespoons butter, then mix in flour and 1/4 teaspoon salt.
- Slowly stir in the 2 cups milk, stirring well after each addition so that no lumps form.
- Cook and stir on medium high until cream sauce starts to thicken; stir for one minute more, then remove from heat.
- Beat egg in a small bowl, then pour into cream sauce, stirring briskly.
- Blend in the 1/3 cup Parmesan cheese.
- Layer half the pasta mixture in a 11" x 7" (or 2 quart) baking dish.
- Spoon the meat mixture evenly on top, then the remaining pasta.
- Pour cream sauce over top, to cover completely.
- Bake, uncovered, at 350F for about 40 minutes, or until hot and lightly browned.
- Let stand for 10 minutes.