Why Pastitsio is Greece’s Best Answer to Italian Lasagna

You’ve likely heard of lasagna, Italy’s de facto answer to the ultimate comfort food, mac, and cheese. Well, while you may be familiar with lasagna, Greece has its own version that matches it dish-for-dish – pastitsio. Pastitsio is pasta layered with meat sauce and topped with a thick layer of cheese sauce that might just rival your favorite lasagna recipe!


Layers of Flavor

Pastitsio is a Greek pasta bake. It has layers of pasta, a rich cinnamon-spiked red wine meat sauce topped with a thick layer of cheese sauce. The recipe originates from the city of Constantinople and its name means pie in old Greek. In modern Greece, it is popular as an alternative to Italian lasagne. This dish was usually prepared for special occasions and family celebrations, but it became popular in everyday life when the Greeks started using cheaper ingredients and preparing it for large groups at picnics and other gatherings. Pastitsio recipes vary greatly depending on what region you are cooking in or what ingredients you have available so there are not many set rules when it comes to this dish- but there are some general guidelines that should be followed as well as some variations.

A Rich Meat Sauce

Pastitsios are traditionally cooked in a large cast iron skillet, but you can use a deep casserole dish if needed. Heat some olive oil over medium-high heat and cook the onions until they’re soft. Add the beef and fry until it’s browned. Sprinkle with salt and pepper then stir in the cinnamon. Add the tomato sauce, water, and wine, bring it up to a boil then reduce the heat and simmer for about an hour or so. This allows all of the flavors to blend nicely together without overcooking any of them.

A Thick Layer of Cheese Sauce

There are many great dishes that come out of the Mediterranean region, but there is one dish that reigns supreme: pastitsio. If you’re not familiar with this dish, it’s a Greek pasta bake with layers of pasta, rich cinnamon-spiked red wine meat sauce topped with a thick layer of cheese sauce. This is Greece’s answer to Italian lasagna. The best part? It tastes delicious and leaves your house smelling amazing! I had the opportunity to make my own pastitsio at home and see for myself why it is such an iconic dish in Greece. My first step was to cook up some ground beef, onion, and garlic in a little olive oil and butter. Next, I added some tomato paste, cinnamon sticks, and crushed bay leaves before letting everything simmer together until it became a deep brown color (a sign of deliciousness). Then I added some chicken broth, white wine, and grape molasses to give it even more flavor. After adding chunks of tomato, whole milk yogurt, and nutmeg into my mixture I let everything cook together for about 20 minutes on low heat before adding my large rigatoni noodles on top. The Perfect Balance of Flavors

Pastitsio is a dish that has a perfect balance of flavors. The sweetness from the cinnamon, the saltiness from the cheese sauce, and the richness of the meat sauce all come together to create an unforgettable dish. The pasta in this dish gives it a traditional Greek touch as well as an Italian twist by using lasagna noodles instead of sheets of phyllo dough. Pastitsios are often served at celebrations and during holidays such as Christmas and Easter. This dish can be served either hot or cold and eaten by itself or with Greek salad on top for a delicious meal that will leave your taste buds wanting more!

Enjoy meal Pastitsio, a Greek pasta bake with layers of pasta, a rich cinnamon-spiked red wine meat sauce topped with a thick layer of cheese sauce. It may sound like an odd dish, but it was born out of necessity during the 1960s when Greeks were struggling with food shortages. The result is one of the best comfort foods you’ll ever have – and it has become so popular that some Athenian restaurants are offering pastitsio on their menus at all times! Pastitsios are usually made in big batches and served as a main dish or as an appetizer for larger gatherings. This makes them perfect for hosting family dinners or holiday celebrations. And if you’re looking for a good party food recipe, pastitsio can’t be beaten.