Fabulous Freelancer Foodie Recipe: Greek Pastitso

Layers of vibrant, filling flavors artfully combine in a casserole to create this Greek pastitso recipe!

Note: this recipe is adapted from one that appeared in the Greek Islands Cookbook by Ann Petousis.

Ingredients for the meat sauce:

  • 4 tablespoons of margarine or butter
  • 1 small onion that has been chopped
  • 2 pounds of ground meat
  • ¾ can of tomato paste
  • ½ cup of water
  • 2 minced cloves of garlic
  • ½ teaspoon of cinnamon
  • Salt and pepper according to taste preference

Ingredients for the cream sauce:

  • 8 cups of milk
  • 8 heaping tablespoons of cornstarch
  • 1 teaspoon of sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • ½ teaspoon of salt

Other ingredients:

  • 1 pound of macaroni
  • 1 stick of margarine or butter
  • 1 cup of milk
  • 6 slightly beaten eggs
  • Salt, pepper, and grated parmesan cheese according to taste preference.

Directions:

  1. Sauté the onion in the butter or margarine until it becomes golden.
  2. Add in the ground beef, and allow it to brown thoroughly.
  3. Stir in the tomato paste and the water; cook for 5 minutes.
  4. Add in the garlic, salt, and pepper, mixing well.
  5. Remove the mixture from the heat, sprinkle in the cinnamon, stir again, and set the mixture aside.
  6. Using salted water, boil the macaroni in a large saucepan.
  7. Drain out the salted water, and return the macaroni to the pan.
  8. Gently stir in the margarine or the butter until the macaroni is saturated with it.
  9. Pour in 1 cup of the milk, which should be cold.
  10. Once the macaroni becomes cool, add in the eggs, then put the macaroni mixture aside.
  11. Add the cornstarch, salt, sugar, and eggs to the remaining 8 cups of cold milk, stirring thoroughly until the mixture becomes smooth.
  12. Grease a 10 x 14” pan, pour in half of the macaroni mixture, and generously sprinkle in the grated parmesan cheese.
  13. Pour the meat mixture on top of the macaroni, and sprinkle the grated parmesan cheese on the meat.
  14. Add in the remaining macaroni mixture, again moderately sprinkling in the grated parmesan cheese.
  15. Spread the cream sauce evenly on top of the macaroni.
  16. Bake in an oven at 375 degrees Fahrenheit for 25 minutes, or until the pastitso is light brown.

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