Greek Pastitsio with Savory Meat Sauce

ingredients for meat sauce
  • 500gr ground beef
  • 1 slice bacon
  • 1 small carrot
  • 1 stick celery
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 4 Tbsp olive oil
  • a pinch of salt
  • 250ml red wine
  • 1 Tbsp balsamic cream
  • 2 Tbsp tomato paste
  • 200gr canned tomatoes
  • 1 tsp dry rosemary
ingredients for bechamel sauce
  • 1lt fresh semi skimmed milk
  • 60gr butter
  • 60gr all purpose flour
  • 50gr parmesan cheese, grated
  • salt
  • pepper
more ingredients
  • 500gr pasta Barilla No10
  • some butter to grease the baking pan
  • a little bit of finely ground bread crumbs like panko
  • 50gr parmesan cheese, grated


Place bacon, carrot, celery and garlic in a food processor and process until finely chopped.
Heat olive oil in a pot and cook them until soft.
Add minced beef meat and cook until it changes colour.
Add wine, balsamic cream, tomato paste, canned tomatoes, rosemary and salt.
Simmer until all liquid has evaporated.
Cook pasta 2-3 minutes less than the package instructions. Drain. 

In the same pot add milk and butter and when it starts to melt add flour, salt and pepper. Stir constantly over medium heat until it starts to thicken and bubbles. Bechamel will be a little bit fluid, smooth and creamy. Remove from heat, add parmesan and stir. 

Butter a baking pan 35x25cm and sprinkle the bottom and sides with panko.
Layer pasta and press with your hands. Top with meat sauce. Finally top with bechamel sauce and sprinkle with parmesan cheese.

Bake in a preheated oven at 200C for 30-40 minutes.

  • make the meat sauce the day before but... try not to eat it with a spoon!
  • you can also cook pasta the day before...only if you are sure that you won't have pasta with meat sauce for dinner!
  • bechamel sauce has no eggs. it's like a silky cream!
  • let the pastitsio to cool down before you cut it!

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