Pastitsio

A few weeks ago, we watched an episode of Test Kitchen on PBS where they made Greek lasagna — pastitsio. It looked really good (and the idea of adding cinnamon to the sauce intrigued me). I finally got around to making it today — very tasty, although I’d prefer if the top had been less browned.

Ingredients

  • 3 lbs ground beef

  • 1 large onion, chopped

  • 12 oz tomato paste

  • 1 Tbsp ground cinnamon

  • 32 oz tube noodles — the authentic version of this recipe would use long ones

  • 1/2 lb asiago (grated)

  • 1/2 lb parmesan (grated)

  • 4 eggs

  • 8 Tbsp butter

  • 1 cup flour

  • 5 1/2 cups whole milk

Method

  • Brown the ground beef in a large pan
  • Add chopped onion and sprinkle with salt. Cook until onions begin to turn translucent.
  • Add cinnamon and stir to incorporate.
  • Add tomato paste and stir to incorporate. Add 1/2 water to thin a bit, then simmer for three hours.
  • Place meat sauce into glass storage container and refrigerate overnight.
  • When ready to prepare lasagna, remove meat sauce from refrigerator and allow to warm up (or microwave for a minute or two).
  • Preheat oven to 350 F
  • Boil noodles according to package directions.
  • Melt butter in a large pan. Add flour to make a light roux, then add milk to make a béchamel sauce.
  • Crack three eggs in a medium bowl and temper with béchamel — then incorporate egg mixture into béchamel sauce. Cook over medium heat until sauce thickens.
  • Toss noodles with one egg and layer in bottom of a large baking dish.
  • Sprinkle 1/3 of cheese on top of the noodles.
  • Spread the meat sauce over the noodles, then sprinkle 1/3 of cheese on top of meat sauce.
  • Spread béchamel sauce over the dish, then sprinkle with remaining 1/3 of cheese.
  • Bake for one hour.

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