Wednesday, 26 July 2017

Pastitcio -

Pastitcio - macaroni casserole with minced meat and bechamel sauce

This is a favourite in the summertime.  Why  summer I do not know.  It is not a particularly light or aery summer meal.

   The name is from the Italian so I presume they have a similar dish over there.

It is made from large tubular spaghetti, called macaroni here.  We buy our spaghetti according to the number. 

 No 6 is what we would normally use for spaghetti bolognaise,  or spaghetti served with a tomato sauce or burnt oil.  

No. 10 is very fine

No 2 is the fat hollow kind we use for pastitcio, a sort of pasta drinking straw.  I see this has 'ziti' written on the packet.  Is that the type of spaghetti?


There are three parts to this recipe, plus the putting together and the baking.  It is easy but you end up with a lot of pot washing.

- First
Boil some thick macaroni.  A little goes a long way.  Don't use a half kilo packet unless you have an army of hungry teenagers to feed and a huge baking dish.  Grate a pile of cheese

- Second
Make a bolognaise sauce with -
minced beef (half a kilo)
one chopped onion
a tin of crushed tomatoes
olive oil
a stick of cinnamon
salt and pepper
half a teaspoon of grated nutmeg

- saute onions, garlic and meat.  Add the rest of the ingredients and simmer for about 40 minutes. It needs to have a little sauce so don't let it dry out too much

- Third
make a bechamel sauce, lots of it but not too thick.
That is a white sauce with a little cheese.
Melt 1/2 a cup of butter (I use half butter and half olive oil)
Take off the heat and stir in 2/3 cup of flour.
With a whisk add about 4 cups of milk, stirring all the time so you don't get lumps.  Put it back on the heat and keep stirring.  When it starts to thicken it is ready.  Stir in salt and I add a good dollop of mustard

Put it all together
Lay the spaghetti/macaroni at the bottom of a deep baking dish.  Don't overdo the pasta.  Leave plenty of room for the meat sauce and the white sauce on top.  Mix in lots of grated cheese. Leave a little to put on top

Cover the fat spaghetti with the bolognaise sauce

Top with the white/cheese/bechamel sauce (whatever you call it)

Sprinkle fine bread crumbs over the top and more grated cheese

Bake about half an hour till the top is brown and bubbly.  Wait for it to cool before cutting it into pieces or it will slop all over the plate.  Quite frankly I think 'sloppy'  is the best way to eat it but if you want it to 'look nice' on the plate then Wait.

Even tastier the next day

Quite often at the feast after a wedding or baptism you'll be given a square of this.  It is supposed to fill you up, either to give you energy to dance or so you don't devour all the platters of roast meat served later on.... or to fill the stomach so you are less affected by all the alcohol you're sure to drink.

As always

Kali orexi


  1. It looks great. 👅👀 It'll never replace fish, chips and mushy peas though. They tell me I can't eat fish because of the batter. Talk about putting somebody on a horse and not letting him ride it. 🙆‍♂️

    1. Not fair!! I would love some fish and chips, though not so much the peas. But of course they are not on the menu here and homemade are just not the same!

  2. I made today the eggplants with the tomatoes sauce from your blog, my son likes it.

    1. Hey Yael! Gkad you like the recipe. We have some aubergine in the fridge just now and I'll probably cook them tomorrow. Bon appetit

  3. Think I must be the only person who dislikes pasta.
    Hate chips/fries too. Maybe a culture thing, love mashed potatoe, roast potatoes .

    1. No pasta, no chips? Hope you at least eatall your veggies!!

    2. Yes love veggies, stuffed peppers tomatoes yum.olives ,salads.fruit
      Mashed potatoe, baked potatoe yes chips no,

  4. My kids still love this! An all time favourite in the family

    1. My grandkids love it too! I make it for them and then slyly 'trim the edges' . Stodge really but really nice when hot out of the oven. Like lasagne or canneloni.

  5. A real favourite in this house, where it is always call Marconi Pie (in honour of the man who probably never ate it).

    1. Marconi pie. I'll tell my kids that.

      Grandkids favourite. something i know theyll all eat.

  6. I am sure it is very nice but it doesn't look very appetising in the photo. We don't eat pasta at all and it is regarded as rubber tubing in this house.

    1. This is delicious when hot. Bit stodgy later on. Stick to what you like!

    2. We do! Traditional food. Lamb chops, cabbage and new potatoes, mint sauce and gravy tonight.

    3. Rachel guess I,m the same. Just don,t get pasta. Meat veg n gravy sorted. New potatoes or mash yes.

    4. Lamb chops in Greece absolutely delicious, barbecued, herbs ,lemon , sadly served with chips, rice, yuk. No mash or gravy!.

  7. Tonight haggis tatties n needs yum.

    1. Neeps for you then and we'll probably be feasting on some sort of offal.

  8. Replies
    1. Greeks are 'supposed' to eat more macaroni than Italians but I find that hard to believe. We did once export spaghetti to Italy, probably not any more

  9. The Greek version of baked meat pasta with béchamel sauce is called Pastitcio. That's a fun word to say. Come on, channel your inner Greek ...

  10. Hi Local Alien, I was curious what brand is the number 2 fat hollow pasta? xx

    1. We buy a cheap own-brand from the local supermarket but most of the bigger brands have it, greek brands that is. Misko, Melissa, Barilla (I think). No 2 is best but no3 and number 5 are both hollow. If you need more info just drop a comment. My daughter makes it using the small tubular pasta. It's easier for the kids to pick up on a fork.