This is a classic Greek dish. There are quite a few steps, but this recipe is great to prep-ahead through the assembly, and then you can pop it in the oven when you are ready to eat. This will save well in the fridge and feed a lot of people!
What you will need
12 oz Bucatini Pasta
4 oz Feta Cheese
2 Egg Whites
FOR THE MEAT SAUCE
1/4 cup Olive Oil
2 Red Onions
2 cloves of Garlic
2 lbs Lean Ground Beef
5 fl oz Red Wine
14 oz canned Diced Tomatoes
1 tsp Sugar
1 Tbsp Tomato Paste
2 tsp Salt
pinch of ground cloves
1/2 tsp Black Pepper
FOR THE BECHAMEL
1/2 cup Flour
1/2 cup Butter
4 cups Milk
2 Egg Yolks
3.5 oz parmigiano-reggiano cheese
pinch of Nutmeg(Nutritional facts 223 calories, 14.04 g fat, 11.61 g carbohydrates, 11.53 g protein, 94 mg cholesterol, 400 mg sodium)
How to cook
Gather all ingredients.
Portion all ingredients.
Slice the onions in half and remove the stem top and papery skin.
Leaving the root end intact, slice into the onion with the knife parallel to the cutting board. Then cut down across the onion to create slices. Cut across the slices, holding firmly onto the root side of the onion to create a fine dice.
Smash the garlic with the flat side of the knife and remove the papery skin. Roughly chop.
Grate the cheese. You are looking for about 1 cup packed grated cheese.
Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat and add the chopped red onion. Saute for 5 minutes until softened.
Add the garlic and tomato paste to the pan with the onion. Stir in to combine.
Add the beef to the pan and saute until browned, about 5 more minutes.
Pour in the red wine and let it simmer and reduce for about 3 minutes.
Pour in the diced tomatoes.
Add the cinnamon, sugar, cloves, black pepper, and salt. Stir to combine.
Simmer for about 20 minutes while you prepare the other layers of the pastitsio.
Melt butter in a skillet and whisk in the flour a little at a time.
Continue whisking in the flour, a little at a time, until it is all incorporated and smooth.
Add the milk to the roux a little bit at a time. Only add more once the last bit is fully stirred in. It will start to thicken even more.
If the bechamel is difficult to stir because it is too thick, you may add more milk to thin it out a bit more. Once you are happy with the consistency, whisk in the nutmeg, pepper, and salt.
Separate the egg yolks from the whites and whisk them into the bechamel. Save the whites to mix with the pasta.
Stir in about 2/3rds of the cheese to the bechamel.
Set oven to 350°F
Bring a pot of water to a boil and add the pasta. Cook 2-3 minutes less than the package instructions.
Use a fork to whisk the feta crumbles with the egg whites. Feel free to use a food processor here if you prefer.
Drain the pasta and stir in the feta and egg white mixture.
Butter or oil the sides of a 9x13 baking pan and add the pasta.
Spread the meat sauce evenly over the top of the pasta.
Pour the bechamel on top of the meat sauce and spread around with a spatula.
Sprinkle the rest of the cheese over the top of the bechamel and bake for 45 minutes at 350°F.