Home-Style Pastitsio

Submitted by: Suzanne McMinn on March 17, 2014

Greek-style comfort food at its best.

Servings: 6-8   Prep Time: 30 minutes   Cook Time: 30 minutes  


1 pound ground lamb (or other ground meat)
1/2 cup chopped onion
1 15-ounce can tomato sauce
1/2 cup water
1/4 cup dry red wine*
1 teaspoon dried parsley
1 teaspoon minced garlic
1 teaspoon dried marjoram or oregano
1/2 teaspoon salt (or to taste)
1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon
dash of ground cayenne (optional)
1 cup elbow macaroni
3 tablespoons butter
3 tablespoons flour
generous dashes of pepper
1 cup milk
3/4 cup cream
dash of ground nutmeg
4 large eggs
1 cup grated cheese (Parmesan, mozzarella, Jack, or combination)


*The wine can be substituted with another 1/4 cup water.

In a large skillet, brown the ground meat with the onions; drain. Add the water, wine, and seasonings. Bring to a low boil then turn down to a simmer. Simmer for 15-20 minutes until the sauce reduces and is thick. Check the seasonings and add salt if necessary. (Don’t add too much salt to begin with because reducing the sauce will enhance the saltiness; reduce first then taste to check.)

While the sauce is reducing, cook and drain the macaroni. Set aside. In another sauce pan, make the white sauce. Melt the butter and stir in the flour and pepper to make a roux. Gradually stir in the milk and cream, simmer until thickened and bubbly. Turn off heat. Add a dash of nutmeg. Beat two of the eggs in a small bowl. Stir in about a cup of the white sauce to incorporate then transfer mixture into the sauce pan with the rest of the white sauce. Stir in half of the grated cheese.

Stir the other half of the grated cheese into the drained macaroni, with an extra dollop of milk or cream and the other two eggs.

Now you’re ready to put the casserole together! Grease the casserole dish and line the bottom of the dish with half of the macaroni mixture. Layer all of the meat sauce on top of the macaroni, then top with the other half of the macaroni mixture. Spread the white sauce over the top.

Bake at 350-degrees for 25-30 minutes.

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