Greek Pastitsio-Baked Greek Bucatini with Meat

Greek Pastitsio-Baked Greek Bucatini with Meat
When I started preparing it today, I remembered why I hadn't written this recipe before - though I had in the past posted a pastiche down like this made in individual portions - it's because everyone is making this dish, maybe slightly different, but it's a classic dish that everyone thinks is theirs the best way so it wouldn't be of much interest.
My own methodology will have some controversial moments, but I know my dish is particularly tasty to me at least and so I recommend it! Make this recipe if you want to see what it looks like and compare it with your own cooking method. It is also a suggestion for those who have never tried it, and although they have always wanted to know how this dish is made, now could be the perfect start to your test with so much step-by-step process!
The recipe is the inspiration of N. Tselemendes almost a century ago. It was and remains one of the most beloved recipes of Greek households. Made with layers of thick pasta, minced meat and Béchamel cream as a final layer.
It is not difficult but it is jagged and with the sink full of pots at the end…

work: 2h:15′ time: 3h:00′ medium:

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Greek Pastitsio-Baked Greek Bucatini with Meat

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Ingredients (~16 Large Pieces)

  • 1 kg minced meat
  • 3-4 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 large grated dried onions
  • 2 tbsp tomato paste
  • 200g passata tomato juice
  • 500g homemade chicken broth
  • 750g bucatini
  • 2 eggs
  • 50g parmesan finely ground
  • 50g of halloumi grated on thick grater
  • 3 laurel leaves
  • 1 tsp from cloves, cinnamon, nutmeg
  • 2 tbsp dried mint
  • a few sprigs of chopped parsley
  • salt and pepper
First, boil the bucatini.
In a large saucepan, put plenty of water and homemade chicken broth to boil. Add some salt to taste. When the water boils, pour the pasta, stirring occasionally. Boil them for half a year until the package is cooked until it is al dente, that is, cooked but keep a little on the tooth.
Drain them from the pan and break 2 eggs over them. Stir them vigorously and allow to cool on a flat surface.
In the same saucepan where the spaghetti was boiled, pour the olive oil and the onion to fry, polish and caramelize. It doesn't need to bloom.
Add tomato paste and mix. Add the minced meat to the frying pan, stirring regularly, crumbling the small toothpicks formed with a fork..
Add tomato paste, aromas, spices, bay leaf and salt to your taste. Pour a glass of water and simmer until the minced meat is cooked, softened and absorbed all its sauce. When we remove the pan from the heat, add the parsley and taste, correcting its taste.

Béchamel Cream

  • 150g halloumi cheese grated on thick grater
  • 150g parmesan finely ground
  • 150g butter
  • 280g flour
  • 2 liters of fresh, lukewarm milk
  • 6 eggs
  • 1 tsp nutmeg
  • salt and pepper
In a saucepan over medium heat, put the butter to burn. Add the flour and stir occasionally to coat well so that it does not smell the flours. Add some butter if needed.
Remove the pan from the heat and stir the mixture to lower its temperature slightly. Quickly pour lukewarm milk into 4 portions, stirring too quickly to prevent cream.
Add the spices and salt and pepper and stir almost constantly, scraping the sides and bottom of the pot with a large wooden spoon, so that the cream does not stick..
When it starts boiling, thikcening and pulling out the first steam jets remove the pan from the fire. Allow the temperature to drop slightly.
Add the grated cheeses and mix well.
Beat the eggs lightly and pour them into the béchamel mixing well and with quick movements until incorporated in the cream.
To assemble, butter a 36×36cm oven pan and spread about half the pasta along one direction. Sprinkle with half grated halloumi from the 50 grams we have on edge and with 2-3 tablespoons of bechamel.
From above we spread the minced meat everywhere and cover the first layer of pasta. Do not forget to remove the bay leaves.
Spread the remaining spaghetti over the minced meat in the same way and direction. Pour the béchamel straight out of the pan to completely cover the second layer of pasta. Sprinkle with 50 grams of finely ground parmesan to go anywhere on the surface of the cream.
Bake at 200℃ (392℉, Gas Mark 5.7) on the oven bottom grill for ~45' or until rubbed. If it gets color quickly cover with foil, which we remove to the end. Allow to cool thoroughly before cutting and serving.
Greek Pastitsio-Baked Greek Bucatini with Meat

Author Zambia G. Sifaki

Greek Pastitsio-Baked Greek Bucatini with Meat