Pastitsio (Greek Lasagna)

A rich, flavorful, and hearty pasta dish topped with a thick bechamel sauce, pastitsio is sometimes described as “Greek lasagna.”

By Yankee Magazine

Jan 11 2022


Pastitsio (Greek Lasagna)

Photo Credit : Carl Tremblay

A rich and flavorful Greek pasta dish, topped with a thick bechamel sauce, pastitsio is similar to Italian lasagna, which is why you sometimes hear it described as “Greek lasagna.” Serve pastitsio with a simple salad.


24 servings

Meat Filling:


1-1/2 pounds ground sirloin
1/4 pound ground pork
4 tablespoons olive oil, divided
1 teaspoon table salt
1 large onion, chopped fine
1/4 cup medium-bodied red wine (such as Merlot)
1 tablespoon tomato paste
1 15-ounce can tomato sauce
1 cup water
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 cinnamon stick
2 eggs
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
3/4 pound ziti
1/2 cup plain breadcrumbs
4 tablespoons melted butter


In a large skillet over medium heat, saute ground sirloin and pork 2 tablespoons of olive oil, breaking meat up with a wooden spoon, until no longer pink, about 5 minutes. Season with salt and add chopped onion. Cook, stirring often, until softened, about 5 minutes. Add wine and simmer 5 minutes.

Add tomato paste, tomato sauce, 1 cup water, pepper, and cinnamon stick, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium and simmer 15 minutes. Remove from heat and cool to room temperature. Then add eggs and 2 tablespoons of Parmesan and stir well.

Meanwhile, bring 4 quarts of water to a boil. Add ziti, reduce heat, and cook until al dente. Drain. Drizzle pasta with remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil to coat lightly, and toss to prevent sticking.

Next, make the bechamel (see below).

Preheat oven to 375°. Add half of the meat mixture to the ziti and mix well. Pour into a 9×13-inch baking dish. Cover pasta with remaining meat mixture. Top with bechamel, spreading it evenly over the top. Sprinkle with breadcrumbs and 1/4 cup grated Parmesan. Drizzle melted butter over the top.

Bake on middle rack 30 minutes or until top is golden in color.

Bechamel Sauce


1-1/2 sticks butter
1 cup all-purpose flour
4 cups milk
1 teaspoon table salt
1/8 teaspoon white or freshly ground black pepper
3 eggs
1/2 cup grated Parmesan


In a large saucepan, melt butter on medium heat; add flour and cook, stirring continuously, until golden. Slowly whisk in milk. Season with salt and pepper. Let sauce cook until it thickens slightly, 4-5 minutes. Remove from heat and cool. Once cooled, add eggs and Parmesan and stir well.