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.
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)
8 Tbsp butter
1 cup flour
5 1/2 cups whole milk
- 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.