Greek Pasta Bake

    2 hours 15 minutes

    This is a baked Greek pasta dish called pastitsio. Everyone loves this dish and it is worth the effort.

    165 people made this

    Serves: 8 

    • 500g penne
    • 2 tablespoons olive oil
    • 80g tablespoons butter
    • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
    • 1 dash ground nutmeg
    • salt and pepper to taste
    • 3 eggs, lightly beaten
    • 2 tablespoons butter
    • 1 large onion, chopped
    • 1 clove garlic, crushed
    • 750g lean beef mince
    • 1/4 cup tomato paste
    • 1/2 cup (125ml) dry red wine
    • 1/2 cup (125ml) vegetable stock
    • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
    • salt and pepper to taste
    • 125g butter
    • 1/2 cup (60g) plain flour
    • 3 cups (750ml) milk
    • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
    • 1 egg, lightly beaten
    • salt and pepper to taste

    Preparation:45min  ›  Cook:1hour30min  ›  Ready in:2hours15min 

    1. Preheat oven to 180 degrees C.
    2. Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Add penne and cook for 8 to 10 minutes or until al dente; drain and return to pan.
    3. Melt butter until golden brown and pour over penne, add half of the Parmesan cheese, nutmeg, salt, pepper and toss well; allow to cool. Add eggs and toss again; set aside.
    4. To make meat sauce: Gently fry onion and garlic in butter in a frypan until onion is soft. Increase heat and add beef mince; stir well. Cook until meat begins to brown. Add tomato paste, wine, stock, parsley, salt and pepper. Cover and simmer over low heat for 20 minutes.
    5. To make cream sauce: Melt butter in saucepan, stir in flour and cook gently for 2 minutes. Pour in milk all at once and bring to a boil, stirring constantly. Boil gently for 1 minute. Add nutmeg, salt, pepper and cool slightly before stirring in beaten egg. Transfer 1/2 cup of this sauce to the meat sauce.
    6. To assemble: Grease a 20x30cm baking dish. Spoon half of the prepared penne evenly in the bottom and top with meat sauce. Top that with remaining penne. Pour on cream sauce and spread to completely cover. Sprinkle remaining cheese on top.
    7. Bake in a preheated oven for 50 minutes or until golden brown. Let stand 10 minutes before cutting into squares to serve.

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    Reviews in English (150)


    This is a nice recipe, but you'll need a 1/2 cup of parmasean cheese instead of the 1/4 c listed (1/4 c for the ziti mixture and another 1/4 c on top). When assembling the dish, distribute 1/2 the cream sauce over the pasta on the bottom before adding the layer of meat sauce (then add the rest of the pasta and cover with the rest of the cream sauce). I find that at least a 1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon in the meat sauce gives the dish a more traditional flavor, although in reviews of other versions on this site suggest it is challenging to those having it for the first time.  -  11 Nov 2006  (Review from Allrecipes USA and Canada)


    This is an authentic and wonderful recipe, and I have been making it for years. It is out of Tess Mallos’s The Complete Middle Eastern Cookbook. A really wonderful Middle Eastern Cookbook. At the end of this recipe in the last part of the instructions she has, “Sprinkle remaining cheese on top” but she left the amount out. It is 1/2 cup.  -  12 Nov 2003  (Review from Allrecipes USA and Canada)


    This is delicious!!! My Mother-in-law who is Greek has been making this for years and everyone loves this popular Greek casserole! I made this for dinner last night and she said that it was excellent! I thought that was a great compliment coming from a Greek! Everyone loves this, even my picky husband and teenage son and they are always looking for any leftovers. My son requests this and now I can make it myself just like Yiayia's! I used Muellers ready cut ziti pasta. When assembling I mixed all of the pasta with the meat sauce and poured into the pan, then topped with the cream sauce. I sprinkled the top with fresh ground nutmeg. This definately is worth the effort and everyone does love this dish! This is a family favorite and I will be making this often! Everyone should try this dish! Thank you for submitting this recipe!  -  22 Apr 2001  (Review from Allrecipes USA and Canada)