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This is a nice recipe, but you'll need a 1/2 cup of parmasean cheese instead of the 1/4 c listed (1/4 c for the ziti mixture and another 1/4 c on top). When assembling the dish, distribute 1/2 the cream sauce over the pasta on the bottom before adding the layer of meat sauce (then add the rest of the pasta and cover with the rest of the cream sauce). I find that at least a 1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon in the meat sauce gives the dish a more traditional flavor, although in reviews of other versions on this site suggest it is challenging to those having it for the first time.
This is an authentic and wonderful recipe, and I have been making it for years. It is out of Tess Mallos’s The Complete Middle Eastern Cookbook. A really wonderful Middle Eastern Cookbook. At the end of this recipe in the last part of the instructions she has, “Sprinkle remaining cheese on top” but she left the amount out. It is 1/2 cup.
This is delicious!!! My Mother-in-law who is Greek has been making this for years and everyone loves this popular Greek casserole! I made this for dinner last night and she said that it was excellent! I thought that was a great compliment coming from a Greek! Everyone loves this, even my picky husband and teenage son and they are always looking for any leftovers. My son requests this and now I can make it myself just like Yiayia's! I used Muellers ready cut ziti pasta. When assembling I mixed all of the pasta with the meat sauce and poured into the pan, then topped with the cream sauce. I sprinkled the top with fresh ground nutmeg. This definately is worth the effort and everyone does love this dish! This is a family favorite and I will be making this often! Everyone should try this dish! Thank you for submitting this recipe!
I was impressed how much this tasted like pastitsio I've ordered at Greek restaurants - very authentic. It does take a long time, but it's worth it. And it smells fabulous!
I did make a number of changes - Reduced the amount of Parmesan cheese and egg added to the pasta at the beginning (didn't miss it); Added cinnamon and nutmeg to the meat (highly suggest doing this); Increased the amount of garlic added to the meat (my MO for almost every recipe); Used chicken broth instead of vegetable broth and used dry parsley instead of fresh (didn't notice either change); Added feta cheese to the cream sauce (I have no idea if this made a difference, just following a reviewer's suggestion). I also followed a reviewer's suggestion and tossed half the pasta with a little bit of the cream sauce and tossed the other half of the pasta with the meat sauce. Then first put the cream sauce-tossed pasta in the dish, then the meat sauce-tossed pasta, and finally the rest of the cream sauce. Came out great (seemed like a logical suggestion to me, thus why I followed it).
I really enjoyed this dish. I didn't add the broth, added water instead. The other thing that I did different was that I put the noodles in the pan, added the butter, and cheese with the egg and mixed it up. I then added the beef mixture and topped that with the bechamel sauce. Just like my mother used to make. Thanks for sharing this recipe!
Pastitsio is one of my favorite baked pasta dishes. My husband made this recipe for us a couple of months ago. It's not my favorite version; I found the cream sauce way too starchy and pasty. I also thought tossing the pasta with butter & parmesan made it a little too heavy and rich-tasting. I prefer making a cream sauce using feta cheese and tossing half the pasta with that; toss the remaining pasta with the meat sauce (like another poster I also recommend using ground lamb or half lamb half beef). Layer the cheese-sauced pasta in the bottom of the baking dish top with the meat sauce layer and spread the remaining cream sauce on top. Sprinkle with more crumbled feta and bake. The version I like courtesy of the Gourmet cookbook.
I never heard of pastitsio and I am not Greek at all- but I was having a party and someone recommended this off of the community board as a good dish for a large crowd. Well I am glad I made it-sooo delicious. I used the meatloaf mix(beef pork and veal) instead of all ground beef and used only 1/2 of a large onion and 3 cloves of garlic for the meat sauce. For the cream sauce I did use 2 cups milk and 1 cup heavy cream-hey it is a fattening dish already-why not completely clog the arteries! And made the rest as stated-although I did forget the final sprinkle of parmesan cheese at the end-oops no big deal. Made the night before and just cooked the next day and it was so worth the efforts. Lots of compliments and lots of people wanting the recipe. THANKS!