When I think about a dinner-party, this Greek comfort pasta bake is always part of the menu. In Greek households, pastitsio is a must-have when having guests over. The layers of pasta, meat sauce, cheese, and creamy bechamel sauce go together so well. The kids usually flock to the side of the table that this tray is sitting on and in the blink of an eye, it’s all gone.
In Greece, the pasta that is used to make this dish is known as Pastitsio Macaronia. It looks like long tubes of spaghetti that is hollow in the center. In America, this pasta is sold at Mediterranean/Middle Eastern markets. If you can find it, use it and you will be pleasantly surprised at how delicious and delicate this pasta bakes up in this dish. If you cannot find it, don’t worry, just use penne pasta. That is what we used at the cafe for 10 years because it was so readily available. We baked tons every week.
Layers of noodles, a hearty meat sauce, cheese, and a creamy bechamel topping come together to create this hearty Pastitsio that everyone loves, especially the kids. They usually flock to the side of the table that the Pastitsio is on.
The meat sauce varies. Many people like to add warm spices like cinnamon, and nutmeg. I don’t add the spices, instead, I add extra tomatoes for a thicker, richer sauce. I like nutmeg in the Bechamel, so, I never add it to the meat sauce. Cinnamon is nice is the meat sauce, but the kids always prefer it without the spices so, I leave them out.
This recipe is featured in my Holiday Table #3 ebook. The menu in this book is perfect for a very special and impressive dinner-party. It’s perfect if you’re wondering what to make during the Holiday Season. Download the book HERE.