IHCC Tessa Kiros ButtonSix months have flown by and it's time for the Thank you-potluck with Tessa Kiros. I chose a slightly more elaborate recipe and made pastitsio. The cinnamon in the bechamel nicely complements the meat sauce.


Adapted from Griechenland in meiner K├╝che / Food from many Greek Kitchens by Tessa Kiros


250 g macaroni

Meat Sauce

3 Tbsp olive oil
2 red onions, diced
500 g minced meat (1:1, beef-pork)
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 cloves
2 grains allspice
1 glas red wine
400 g diced tomato
1 Tbsp tomato paste
salt and pepper


500 ml milk
dash of ground cinnamon
60 g butter
60 g flour
1 egg
salt and pepper


Meat Sauce

In a skillet, heat the oil, add onions and minced meat and fry until the meat forms little crumbs. Add garlic, cloves and allspice and fry until fragrant. Add the wine and let the alcohol cook off. Add tomatoes, tomato paste and a dash of salt and pepper. Add 500 ml water and let simmer on low heat for about 45 minutes until the liquid is considerably reduced. Add salt and pepper to taste and set aside.

Cook the pasta until al dente. Drain well and transfer to an oven-proof dish. Press down on the pasta to reduce any air pockets.

Preheat the oven to 180°C.

Bechamel Sauce

In a pot, gently heat the milk and cinnamon. In a wide casserole, heat the butter and stir in the flour in small batches until it turns into a smooth paste. Stir in the warmed milk in small batches until the desired consistency. Break the egg into a cup, add a laddle of the bechamel to temper the egg and return the mixture to the bechamel. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Spread the meat sauce over the macaroni, pour the bechamel on top. Bake for about 35 to 40 minutes until the bechamel is nicely browned. Remove from the oven and let cool for about 45 minutes before serving.


Yvette MWCAdventure said...

Cinnamon in bechamel sauce, you really got me curious for this pastitsio.

luckybunny said...

This looks and sounds so good and so comforting... I think I might have to make this tonight!

Elle said...

This sounds wonderful and like something I ate a long time ago in a Greek restaurant.The cinnamon in the white sauce is surely the secret ingredient that pulls it all together.

MM said...

This is one I wanted to make, but didn't have the time. I will make it though! Beautiful dish!

kitchen flavours said...

Wow, this looks delicious! My kids would definitely love this, they love baked macaroni! Thanks for sharing. Have a nice day!

Deb in Hawaii said...

I would so love a big serving of this right now--pastitsio is one of my favorites. A great dish to go out on.

Natashya KitchenPuppies said...

Beautiful! I have this one bookmarked too - it looks delicious.
Amazing how fast six months flies by.

Jeanne said...

I love the crinkly top. Perfectly browned!

Heather @girlichef.com said...

I started my Tessa journey with Pastitsio! And now, seeing yours, I really want to make it again - it was AWESOME!

Kim said...

Stunning! Beautifully golden and perfectly browned on top. An elaborate meal for sure.

Hope you'll join us when we cook Rick Bayless recipes.