A couple of months ago, I tried out a pastitsio recipe in the Better Homes & Gardens Biggest Book of Casseroles. Looking at the index, I realized the cookbook had a different recipe for pastitsio 60 pages earlier. That’s my one gripe about the cookbook; it doesn’t group similar recipes very well. There’s five or six mac and cheese recipes scattered throughout. Why not put them all together? Anyhow, the other pastitsio recipe had fewer pre-made ingredients, so I decided I would try it. It’s better.

The following is my attempt.

  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 1 large onion
  • 8 ounce can tomato sauce
  • ¼ cup sherry
  • ¼ teaspoon cinnamon
  • 8 ounces uncooked penne pasta
  • 4 eggs
  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1½ cups milk
  • 1 cup shredded Romano cheese
  1. Chop onion
  2. Cook beef and onion until meat is browned and onion is tender
  3. Drain
  4. Add tomato sauce, sherry, and cinnamon to meat and onions
  5. Heat until bubbling
  6. Reduce heat, cover and simmer for 30 minutes
  7. Cook penne pasta according to directions
  8. Lightly beat 2 eggs
  9. Toss cooked pasta with eggs and 2 tablespoons of butter
  10. Melt 2 tablespoons of butter in a small saucepan over medium heat
  11. Stir in flour, salt and pepper until smooth
  12. Add milk (slowly)
  13. Cook until mixture is thick
  14. Lightly beat 2 eggs
  15. Stir mixture into the eggs
  16. (make sure meat, pasta, and sauce are all finished)
  17. Preheat oven to 350°
  18. Grease a 3 quart casserole dish
  19. Spread half the pasta in dish
  20. Spread half the meat sauce over the pasta
  21. Spread 1/3 of the cheese over the pasta
  22. Spread remaining pasta on top of cheese
  23. Spread remaining meat sauce over the pasta
  24. Spread 1/3 of the cheese over the pasta
  25. Pour white sauce evenly over cheese
  26. Spread remaining cheese on top
  27. Cover and bake for 20 minutes
  28. Remove cover and bake for additional 15 minutes
  29. Let stand for 15 minutes to cool and set


Spice Market Pastitsio

Spice Market Pastitsio
Spice Market Pastitsio

Trying a new recipe from the Better Homes & Gardens Biggest Book of Casseroles. There’s another Pastitsio recipe in the book as well, but I didn’t notice it until I’d bought everything for this one. The other recipe appears to be made with fresh ingredients as opposed to the pre-made spaghetti sauce etc. called for in this recipe. Which means it’s probably better and has less salt. I’ll try that one some day.

The following ingredients are what I used. Recipe does not match exactly what’s in the cookbook.

  • 8 ounces (2 cups) dried elbow macaroni
  • 8 ounces ground beef
  • 14 ounces spaghetti sauce with onion and garlic
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon fennel seeds, crushed
  • 1 cup milk (lactose free)
  • 1 envelope white sauce mix
  • 2 slightly beaten eggs
  • ¼ cup crumbled feta cheese
  • ½ teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • ¼ cup shredded Parmesan cheese
  1. Preheat oven to 350°
  2. Cook macaroni
  3. Brown hamburger (I did not drain)
  4. Stir spaghetti sauce, cinnamon, and fennel seeds into meat
  5. Combine milk and white sauce mix in saucepan
  6. Cook white sauce on medium until thickened
  7. Mix half the white sauce and the eggs, then return all to saucepan
  8. Put half the macaroni in 2 quart casserole dish (supposed to lightly grease it, but I forgot)
  9. Spread meat mixture over macaroni
  10. Put remaining macaroni in next
  11. Spread white sauce on top
  12. Sprinkle Parmesan on top of that
  13. Bake uncovered at 350° around 35 minutes
  14. Verdict: Fairly tasty. Not gourmet by any stretch, but pretty good. I’ve never had cinnamon with meat that I can remember and it works out pretty good. I can’t really taste the nutmeg in it, but that could be for any number of reasons not related to the recipe. I’ll have to try a real pastitsio recipe sometime and see how that works out.