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    You are in: Home / Greek / My Pastitsio Recipe
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    My Pastitsio

    Total Time:

    Prep Time:

    Cook Time:

    1 hr 10 mins

    30 mins

    40 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.

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    My Private Note


    Serves: 6


    9" x 13 ...

    Units: US | Metric

    Meat Base


    • 8 ounces pastitsio or 8 ounces long other slender tubular pasta

    Custard Topping

    • 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)


    1. 1
      Meat Base: Saute onion with ground beef, breaking meat up as you go, until meat is almost done.
    2. 2
      Drain off any excess fat.
    3. 3
      Add garlic, cumin and flour, stir together well, and saute a minute or two more.
    4. 4
      Add remaining meat base ingredients and simmer gently, uncovered, for about 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.
    5. 5
      Turn off heat and cover.
    6. 6
      Pasta: 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).
    7. 7
      Drain well.
    8. 8
      Custard Topping: Melt butter in saucepan and mix in the flour.
    9. 9
      Let it bubble a minute or two or until you can smell a slightly nutty flavor, but do not let it brown.
    10. 10
      Gradually add most of the milk, whisking.
    11. 11
      Let it cook about 10 minutes, stirring, until well thickened, then remove from heat.
    12. 12
      Mix the nutmeg, salt and pepper into the grated cheese.
    13. 13
      Add the eggs to the remaining milk in your measuring cup and whisk.
    14. 14
      Whisk the egg and milk mixture into the sauce, then whisk the cheese mixture into the sauce also.
    15. 15
      Assembly: Layer 1/2 of the pasta in the bottom of your baking pan.
    16. 16
      Then add all of the meat sauce, removing the bay leaf and any stems from the marjoram.
    17. 17
      Top with remaining pasta, then pour the custard sauce over all.
    18. 18
      If everything is still hot when you assemble it, bake at 400 degrees Farenheit for about 35 minutes.
    19. 19
      If merely warm, or if using a glass or ceramic pan instead of a metal one, bake for about 45 minutes at 350 degrees Farenheit.
    20. 20
      Top should be slightly golden, edges slightly brown.

    Ratings & Reviews:

    • on January 11, 2006


      I chose this pastitsio recipe because one of my children hates the taste of cinnamon in anything except desserts. He practically inhaled this cumin version (along with everyone else!) Fresh marjoram wasn't available, so I left it out. Doubled the recipe, using 2/3 beef and 1/3 ground pork, which worked really well. (A lasagna pan was exactly the right size for baking the double batch.) Also, at Step #4, the mixture seemed way too dry to simmer for 20 minutes without burning, so I added a cup of tomato sauce, which made it just 'wet' enough. This was a huge hit, and everyone is demanding leftovers for a change!

      people found this review Helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes | No
    • on February 23, 2003


      this is the traditional dish and it is absolutely delicious! worth the time and effort, this never fails to bring a smile to everyone i serve it to-and i have been making it this way forever!!!

      people found this review Helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes | No


    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:

    fresh marjoram


    hard cheese

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