Pastitsio (Baked Macaroni)

I suppose this could be called the "comfort food" of Greek cooking. Pastitsio uses a béchamel sauce, one of the five mother sauces. My sister and I absolutely love this, and we used to make it all the time when we saw each other more often. But I also eat it at the St. Katherine's Greek Festival every year.




  • 1 pound macaroni
  • 1/4 pound butter
  • 1 1/2 pounds ground turkey or beef
  • 1/2 can tomato paste
  • 6 ounces grated Romano or Parmesan cheese
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
  • Salt and pepper


  • 4 cups warm milk, divided
  • 5 eggs
  • 6 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 sticks butter


  1. Macaroni: Cook macaroni (but not well done) in boiling, salted water and drain.
  2. Sauté onion in a little butter.
  3. Add ground meat and stir until brown.
  4. Add tomato paste, thinned with a little water.
  5. Add salt, pepper, cinnamon and nutmeg. Cook until meat is done.
  6. Melt butter; pour over drained macaroni, mixing carefully.
  7. Spread half of the macaroni on the bottom of a 13 x 9-inch pan.
  8. Sprinkle half of the grated cheese on top.
  9. Spread entire meat mixture on top.
  10. Cover with remaining macaroni and remaining grated cheese.
  11. Sauce: Boil 3 cups of the milk with 1 1/2 sticks butter.
  12. Add flour to remaining 1 cup milk and blend well.
  13. Add flour mixture to boiling butter and milk. Thicken and cool.
  14. After this has cooled, add 5 beaten eggs, or drop small amounts of the milk mixture into the eggs while stirring constantly. Once the egg mixture gets warm to hot, add the remaining milk.
  15. Pour sauce over the macaroni. Shake the pan and insert a knife to penetrate thoroughly.
  16. Bake at 350 degrees F for 40 to 45 minutes.

Prep: 25 min | Cook: 55 min | Yield: 8 to 12 servings

From the kitchen of Kathryn Jolly Mills.

From the family recipe collection of Linda Jolly and Lisa Stephens.