FOOD

Pastitsio Pasta Bake

Looking for a simple way to change up pasta night? Try this pasta bake made with a rich béchamel sauce.

FOOD

Pastitsio Pasta Bake

Looking for a simple way to change up pasta night? Try this pasta bake made with a rich béchamel sauce.

Ingredients

Pastitsio Bake

  • 1 pound penne pasta
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 medium yellow onion, finely chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
  • 2 pounds ground turkey
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1 (28-ounce) can crushed tomatoes, with juices
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

Bechamel

  • 6 tablespoons butter
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 3 cups whole milk
  • 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese, divided
  • Kosher salt

Steps

Pastitsio Bake

  1. Heat oven to 350 degrees F. Butter a 3-quart baking dish.
  2. Bring a large pot of salted water to boil. Cook pasta for 2 minutes less than package instructions. Drain.
  3. Add butter to a large skillet over medium heat. Once melted and foaming, add onion and garlic and sauté until tender, about 4 minutes.
  4. Season with cinnamon, salt and pepper.
  5. Add the meat and break up with the back of a wooden spoon while stirring. Cook until browned, about 5 minutes.
  6. Sprinkle with cinnamon and toast for 1 minute. Stir in the tomato paste, then the tomatoes and season with salt and pepper. Cook for 10 minutes, until thickened.
  7. To assemble, add the cooked pasta to the meat sauce and stir to mix. Add to the prepared casserole dish.
  8. Spoon on a layer of bechamel and smooth the top. Sprinkle with the remaining 1/4 cup cheese.
  9. Bake for 35 minutes, until golden brown. Remove from oven and cool for 15 minutes before slicing.

Bechamel

  1. Add butter to a medium saucepan over medium heat. Once melted and foaming, sprinkle in flour and stir with a wooden spoon until pasty.
  2. Whisk in milk slowly. Season with salt, cayenne, nutmeg and 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese. Simmer for 8 to 10 minutes.