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Beef Pastitsio

This recipe is from "At Home Cafe" by Leslie Carpenter and Helen DeFrance.

  • Servings: 8


  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 1 pound lean ground beef
  • 2 (14-ounce) cans diced tomatoes, drained
  • 2 teaspoons dried oregano
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1 3/4 teaspoons coarse salt, plus more for cooking macaroni
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
  • 1/2 pound elbow macaroni
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, plus more for baking dish
  • 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
  • 4 cups whole milk, (1 quart)
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 cup crumbled feta cheese


  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. In a large skillet, heat oil over medium heat. Add onion and garlic; cook, stirring occasionally, until onion is translucent, about 7 minutes. Stir in beef, breaking it up with a wooden spoon, and cook until browned, about 7 minutes. Drain all but 1 tablespoon fat. Add tomatoes, oregano, cinnamon, 1 teaspoon salt, and pepper; bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer and cook, covered, for 15 minutes. Uncover, and simmer for 15 minutes more. Remove from heat; set aside.

  2. Meanwhile, bring a large pot of water to a boil; add salt. Add macaroni; cook until al dente. Drain macaroni; set aside.

  3. Melt butter in large saucepan over medium heat. Whisk in flour and cook, whisking constantly, for 1 minute. Increase heat to high, and while continuing to whisk, add milk and remaining 3/4 teaspoon salt. Bring to a boil, and remove from heat.

  4. Beat eggs in a small bowl. Slowly whisk in 1 cup of hot cream sauce, being careful not to scramble eggs, then beat egg mixture back into cream sauce. Whisk in 3/4 cup Parmesan.

  5. Brush a 9-by-13-inch baking dish with butter. Add half of the macaroni. Cover with 1 1/2 cups cheese sauce. Spread beef mixture evenly over. Layer with remaining macaroni; sprinkle with feta cheese. Top with remaining cheese sauce, and sprinkle with remaining 1/4 cup Parmesan. Bake in oven until golden and bubbling, 35 minutes. Let stand until firm, about 15 minutes.

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