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Ina Garten’s Pastitsio Recipe

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Ina Garten’s Pastitsio Recipe

Ina Garten, the beloved Barefoot Contessa, has a knack for creating recipes that are both comforting and elegant. Her Pastitsio recipe is no exception. Pastitsio is a traditional Greek dish that combines layers of pasta, a rich meat sauce, and a creamy béchamel sauce. In this article, we’ll walk you through Ina Garten’s take on this classic Greek comfort food.

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For the Meat Sauce:

  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 1 pound ground lamb
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 1 cup red wine
  • 1 (28-ounce) can crushed tomatoes
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 pound penne rigate pasta

For the Béchamel Sauce:

  • 12 tablespoons (1.5 sticks) unsalted butter
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 4 cups whole milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • 1 1/2 cups grated Parmesan cheese
  • 2 extra-large eggs, beaten
  • 3/4 cup heavy cream


1. Prepare the Meat Sauce:

  • In a large skillet, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the chopped onion and sauté until it becomes translucent.
  • Add the ground beef and lamb to the skillet. Cook, breaking it apart with a wooden spoon, until the meat is browned and cooked through.
  • Stir in the red wine, crushed tomatoes, ground cinnamon, dried oregano, and ground nutmeg. Season with salt and freshly ground black pepper.
  • Allow the sauce to simmer for about 20 minutes, stirring occasionally, until it thickens. Set aside.

2. Cook the Pasta:

  • Cook the penne rigate pasta according to the package instructions until it is al dente. Drain the pasta and set it aside.

3. Prepare the Béchamel Sauce:

  • In a large saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat. Add the all-purpose flour and whisk continuously for about 2 minutes to create a roux.
  • Gradually whisk in the whole milk, ensuring there are no lumps. Cook the mixture until it thickens and comes to a gentle simmer.
  • Season the béchamel sauce with ground nutmeg, salt, and freshly ground black pepper.
  • Remove the saucepan from the heat and stir in 1 cup of grated Parmesan cheese until it’s fully incorporated.
  • Allow the sauce to cool slightly, and then whisk in the beaten eggs and heavy cream.

4. Assemble the Pastitsio:

  • Preheat your oven to 350°F (175°C).
  • In a large mixing bowl, combine the cooked penne pasta and half of the béchamel sauce. Mix until the pasta is evenly coated.
  • Grease a 9×13-inch baking dish and spread half of the pasta mixture evenly on the bottom.
  • Next, add the meat sauce as a middle layer, spreading it evenly over the pasta.
  • Top the meat sauce with the remaining pasta mixture.
  • Pour the remaining béchamel sauce over the top, spreading it out to cover the entire dish.
  • Sprinkle the remaining 1/2 cup of grated Parmesan cheese on top.

5. Bake and Serve:

  • Place the baking dish in the preheated oven and bake for approximately 45-50 minutes or until the top is golden brown and bubbling.
  • Allow the Pastitsio to rest for a few minutes before slicing and serving. Enjoy the wonderful flavors of this Greek comfort food!

Ina Garten’s Pastitsio is a culinary masterpiece that marries the rich flavors of the meat sauce with the creamy goodness of the béchamel sauce. Whether you’re preparing it for a special occasion or a cozy family dinner, this dish will definitely please your taste buds.

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Source: vodkaandbiscuits.com

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