1 hr 10 mins
Nicole Schultheis's Note:
This is a variation of the Greek meat, pasta and custard casserole. It relies on cumin rather than cinnamon to flavor the meat. The proportions of pasta, meat and custard are comparable to traditional pastitsio, as is the custard topping, but the meat sauce used in this version is completely mine.
My Private Note
9" x 13 ...
Units: US | Metric
- 1 lb lean but good quality ground beef
- 1/2 cup chopped onion
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 tablespoon cumin
- 2 tablespoons flour
- 4 sprigs fresh marjoram (or a little dry marjoram but fresh is better)
- 1 bay leaf
- 1/2 teaspoon finely ground black pepper
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
- 2 teaspoons beef base or 2 beef bouillon cubes
- 1 (14 1/2 ounce) can chopped tomatoes (don't substitute whole canned tomatoes, they don't have as much tomato in them, says Cook's)
- 8 ounces pastitsio or 8 ounces long other slender tubular pasta
- 1/4 cup flour
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter (don't use salted butter if you can help it; unsalted has better flavor and it will show in this reci)
- 2 large eggs
- 2 cups milk
- 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
- 1/2 teaspoon salt, to taste
- 1/2 teaspoon white pepper
- 3 tablespoons freshly and finely grated hard cheese, like romano or 3 tablespoons parmesan cheese (don't even think of using that canned stuff)
- 1Meat Base: Saute onion with ground beef, breaking meat up as you go, until meat is almost done.
- 2Drain off any excess fat.
- 3Add garlic, cumin and flour, stir together well, and saute a minute or two more.
- 4Add remaining meat base ingredients and simmer gently, uncovered, for about 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- 5Turn off heat and cover.
- 6Pasta: Cook pasta until al dente in an ample quantity of salted water to which a bit of vegetable oil has been added (helps keep strands from sticking together).
- 7Drain well.
- 8Custard Topping: Melt butter in saucepan and mix in the flour.
- 9Let it bubble a minute or two or until you can smell a slightly nutty flavor, but do not let it brown.
- 10Gradually add most of the milk, whisking.
- 11Let it cook about 10 minutes, stirring, until well thickened, then remove from heat.
- 12Mix the nutmeg, salt and pepper into the grated cheese.
- 13Add the eggs to the remaining milk in your measuring cup and whisk.
- 14Whisk the egg and milk mixture into the sauce, then whisk the cheese mixture into the sauce also.
- 15Assembly: Layer 1/2 of the pasta in the bottom of your baking pan.
- 16Then add all of the meat sauce, removing the bay leaf and any stems from the marjoram.
- 17Top with remaining pasta, then pour the custard sauce over all.
- 18If everything is still hot when you assemble it, bake at 400 degrees Farenheit for about 35 minutes.
- 19If merely warm, or if using a glass or ceramic pan instead of a metal one, bake for about 45 minutes at 350 degrees Farenheit.
- 20Top should be slightly golden, edges slightly brown.
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Nutritional Facts for My Pastitsio
Serving Size: 1 (280 g)
Servings Per Recipe: 6
- Amount Per Serving
- % Daily Value
- Calories 336.6
- Calories from Fat 182
- Total Fat 20.2 g
- Saturated Fat 9.3 g
- Cholesterol 134.9 mg
- Sodium 325.6 mg
- Total Carbohydrate 17.3 g
- Dietary Fiber 1.5 g
- Sugars 4.6 g
- Protein 20.8 g
The following items or measurements are not included: