Traverse City Record-Eagle


October 31, 2013

Recipe of the Week: Pastitsio and Béchamel Sauce

Today’s recipe comes from frequent recipe of the week contributor Cheryl Gross, of Frankfort.

“My husband and I enjoy Greek food. Moussaka has been a long time favorite,” Gross said. “In the past ten years, however, we have been making more Pastitsio. (It might have something to do with our kids and eggplant.) We recently shared Pastitsio with neighbors who claimed it very good, indeed.”


1 lb. macaroni

2 T. butter

2 large egg whites

1 lb. ground lamb

1 c. grated Parmesan cheese

1 large onion, chopped

1/2 c. dry white wine

1 28 oz. can diced tomatoes

salt and pepper to taste

1 stick cinnamon or 1 t. ground cinnamon

1 c. bread crumbs

Béchamel Sauce

7 T. butter

9 T. flour

4 c. hot milk

salt and pepper to taste

2 egg yolks from whites above.

Boil macaroni in salted water according to package directions. Drain. Stir in two tablespoons butter and two egg whites lightly beaten. Set aside.

Crumble and brown the lamb in a large skillet with the chopped onion. Drain the fat from the pan. Add the wine and reduce by half. Add the tomatoes and juices, cinnamon and salt and pepper. Simmer 20 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in 1/2 cup bread crumbs. Set aside.

Melt butter in a sauce pan over medium heat. Whisk in flour to make a paste. Slowly add the hot milk whisking continuously to make a smooth sauce. Add the egg yolks one at a time whisking to incorporate smoothly. Add 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese to the white sauce and correct the seasoning with salt and pepper.

In a nine-by-13-inch pan coated with cooking spray spread half of the macaroni evenly on the pan. Gently spoon and spread the meat mixture over the macaroni. Spread the remaining macaroni over the meat. Pour the béchamel sauce over the macaroni. Sprinkle the remaining 1/2 cup bread crumbs and 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese over the top.

Bake in a 350° oven for 30 minutes until the dish is bubbly and beginning to brown. Serves 6 to 8.

Recipe adapted by Cheryl Gross from “The Greek Cook Book” by Sophia Skoura, 1967.

Do you have a favorite recipe to share? Please send to the Record-Eagle Food section at 120 W. Front, Traverse City, MI 49685, or fax to 946-8632.

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