Pastitsio

a layered lamb & pasta casserole

(from The Complete Book of Greek Cooking, by The Recipe Club of Saint Paul's Greek Orthodox Cathedral)

Yield: 12 Servings

Thin Sauce

Ingredients Directions
  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • 2 cups hot milk
  • 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 egg yolks

Melt butter in saucepan. Stir in flour and cook until mixture turns golden. Gradually stir in hot milk and cook, stirring until sauce is smooth and hot. In a small bowl, beat egg yolks, then briskly stir 1 cup of hot milk mixture. Pour egg milk mixture into remaining sauce. Stir and remove from heat without cooking the eggs.

Thick Sauce

Ingredients Directions
  • 4 cups milk
  • ½ cup all-purpose flour
  • 4 eggs

Heat milk to a simmer, and set aside. In a bowl, beat eggs with flour. Gradually stir hot milk into the egg mixture. Return to saucepan and cook, stirring constantly, until mixture is quite thick. Do not boil after the eggs have been added.

Main Recipe

Ingredients Directions
  • 1½ cups chopped onions
  • dash of ground cinnamon
  • 2 pounds ground lamb
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 2 cups Italian plum tomatoes, chopped
  • 1¼ pounds tubular pasta, such as ziti #2
  • 1 cup tomato sauce
  • ½ cup bread crumbs
  • 1 cup fresh grated kefalatiri or parmesan cheese
  • 1 teaspoon dried or tablespoon fresh chopped oregano

Brown chopped onions and meat in butter. Add tomatoes, tomato sauce, spices and seasonings. Cover and simmer for 30 minutes, or until liquid has been absorbed.

Preheat Oven to 350° F.

Cook pasta according to package directions, and drain. Sprinkle bread crumbs into a buttered 11 × 14 × 2 inch baking pan. Place a layer of pasta in the baking pan; then add half the thin cream sauce. Add meat. Sprinkle with ¼ cup grated cheese. Cover with remaining thin cream sauce. Spread thick cream sauce over the top and sprinke it with remaining ½ cup cheese. Bake for 1 hour, or until golden. Let stand for 15 minutes to cool, and cut into squares (Note that you cannot cut the Pastitsio easily unless you cool it for 15 minutes.) When ready to serve, reheat in hot oven.

Note: This dish can be prepared a day in advance, adding the thick cream sauce just before baking the dish.

Return to Sheep's Creek Farm Lamb Recipes page.

© 1998 Ronald Florence
Last modified: 27-Nov-2001 09:52:21 EST