Pistitsio – Baked Greek Pasta with American Lamb


June 27, 2022

Recipe provided by How to make Pastitsio! | Feasting At Home, courtesy of the American Lamb Board (Pastitsio | Baked Greek Pasta with American Lamb | American Lamb).

  • Prep: 45 mins
  • Cook: 30 mins


2 tbsp Olive oil

1 large Onion, diced

2 lbs Ground American lamb

2 tsp Kosher salt, more to taste

6 cloves Garlic, rough chopped or 2 tbsp granulated garlic

3 tsp Ground cinnamon

2 tsp Ground cumin

2 tsp Dried oregano or 1tbsp fresh chopped

1 tsp Pepper

28 ounces Crushed tomatoes

1 tbsp Tomato paste


3 tbsp Olive oil or butter

1/4 cup All-purpose flour or gluten free flour

2 1/2 cups Whole milk

1/2 tsp Ground nutmeg

1 tsp Salt

1/2 cup Grated parmesan or Kasseri cheese

1/2 cup Plain Greek yogurt

2 XL eggs, beaten

3/4 lb Penne pasta

Parmesan for sprinkling

1 tbsp Thyme, garnish


1Start the lamb bolognese: heat oil in a large heavy bottom pot or dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add the onion, ground meat and salt, breaking up the meat with a metal spatula. Cook 10-12 minutes, stirring often until onions are tender and meat is browned. Drain any fat. Splash with the red wine and cook until evaporated, about 2 minutes, then add garlic and cinnamon, cumin, oregano and pepper. Sauté for 2 minutes until garlic is fragrant. Stir in crushed tomatoes and simmer on low heat, covered, for 20 minutes. Taste, add more salt if you like.

2Preheat oven to 400 F.

3While this is simmering, boil the pasta water and make the béchamel sauce. Heat the oil in a medium pot, over medium heat. Whisk the flour into the oil into a smooth paste and cook for 60 seconds. Whisk in 1 cup milk until smooth and thickened, then immediately, add the remaining 1 1/2 cups milk and whisk until smooth and thickened again. Add salt, nutmeg, white pepper and parmesan, and stir until cheese melts and sauce is smooth. Set aside and let cool for 10 minutes.

4Cook the pasta and drain.

5Once the béchamel has cooled 10 minutes ( warm is ok, just not hot), stir in the yogurt and beaten eggs.

6Add the cooked pasta to the Bolognese sauce and mix. Pour into an extra large greased baking dish (9×13) or 12-inch oven proof skillet. Top with the béchamel sauce covering it evenly. Sprinkle with ½ cup more parmesan and scatter with fresh thyme leaves. Bake 30-40 minutes or until golden and bubbly.