Pastitsio (Pasta and Ground Beef Casserole)

September 23, 2020
Created by Harmons
1 hour 25 minutes
Serves 10-12
  • 8 Tbsp butter, divided
  • 2 yellow onions, finely chopped
  • 2 lb lean ground beef
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • 1/2 tsp dried oregano leaves
  • 1/8 tsp ground cinnamon
  • Pinch of ground cloves
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 1 (6 oz) can tomato paste
  • 1/4 cup dry red wine
  • 3/4 cup beef broth
  • 3 1/2 cups grated parmesan cheese, divided
  • 1 pkg penne rigate or rigatoni, cooked as directed
  • 1/2 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 4 cups milk
  • 2 eggs
  • Pinch of ground cinnamon
  • 1/8 tsp freshly ground nutmeg

Preheat oven to 350°.

In a large frying pan over medium-high heat, melt 4 tablespoons butter.

Add onions and cook until beginning to brown, about 5 minutes. Add meat and cook, stirring occasionally, until well browned, about 5 minutes. Add herbs, spices, salt, pepper, tomato paste, wine, and broth, and stir to combine. Let simmer for 15 minutes. Set aside to cool.

In a bowl, combine cooked pasta with 1 cup parmesan.

Meanwhile, in a heavy large saucepan over medium-high heat, melt remaining 4 tablespoons butter. Add flour and cook, about 3 minutes. Gradually stir in milk and cook, stirring constantly, until sauce is smooth and thick.

In a medium bowl, beat eggs. Add 1/3 of sauce, 1 teaspoon salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg, and stir to combine. Add egg mixture to sauce and stir until thick and well blended. Add 1 cup parmesan and stir well.

Oil a 9”x13” baking pan and arrange half of pasta in an even layer on bottom. Add 1 cup parmesan to meat and toss to combine. Place all of meat mixture on top of pasta layer. Sprinkle with remaining 1/2 cup parmesan cheese. Place remaining pasta on top of meat mixture in an even layer.

Pour half of sauce on top and bake for 10 minutes. Remove from oven, add remaining sauce, and bake for another 30 minutes. Allow pastitsio to cool for 30 minutes and serve warm.