Traditional Greek Pastitsio

By Chef Crystal Baldwin


Serves: 12
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cool Time: 55 minutes


  1. In a large saucepan, melt the butter. Add flour and whisk over medium heat for 1 minute. Whisk in the milk and cream; bring to a boil.
  2. Reduce the heat to a simmer and cook, stirring, until the sauce is thick. Season with 1 teaspoon salt, ¼ teaspoon pepper and ¼ teaspoon of nutmeg. Press plastic wrap directly onto the sauce and let cool.
  3. Heat olive oil in a large, heavy-bottom pot over medium heat. Add the onion and cook until translucent. Add lamb and cook until browned.
  4. Drain off excess grease. Stir in cinnamon, allspice, remaining nutmeg and tomato paste. Add wine and cook, stirring, until wine is nearly evaporated. Add the tomatoes, oregano and currants. Season with salt and pepper and simmer for 15 minutes.
  5. Meanwhile, cook ziti in a large pot of boiling salted water until barely al dente and let cool.
  6. Preheat the oven to 375°F. Butter a 13 x 9-inch baking dish. Line bottom of dish with 1/4 of ziti. Spread 2 cups of white sauce on top of ziti, then cover with the lamb and sprinkle with ¼ cup of cheese. Top with the remaining ziti. Stir egg yolks into the remaining white sauce and spread it over the ziti. Sprinkle with the remaining cheese and bake until the pastitsio is golden brown and the sauce is bubbling. Let stand for 20 minutes before cutting.

Nutritional Information (Per serving):

Calories 710, Fat 37g, Sat. Fat 17g, Trans Fat 0g, Cholesterol 155g, Sodium 730mg, Total Carbohydrate 53g, Fiber 5g, Sugars 15g, Protein 33g, Vitamin A 20% DV, Vitamin C 25% DV, Calcium 30% DV, Iron 30% DV

Nutritional values are based on data from the USDA National Nutrient Database for Standard Reference. Actual nutritional values may vary due to preparation techniques, variations related to suppliers, regional and seasonal differences, or rounding.