Pastitsio Recipe - macaroni de fourno by Theo

Pastitsio Recipe – Macaroni de forno (Greek Pasta Bake)

Pastitsio Recipe – a Greek classic also known as Macaroni de forno (Greek pasta bake) is a wonderful creamy and meaty dish served hot or cold.

My Pastitsio recipe or Macaroni de forno is a dish to share, once you’ve sampled my pastitsio recipe it will become a family staple. 

Like most pastitsio recipes (or macaroni de forno recipes) there are a thousand variations normally stemming from a plethora of small villages all having slightly different traditions of making their own pastitsio.

This my version of a Michaels’ family favourite! Pastitsio is quite often part of a meze cut into smaller sizes for people to grab and served at room temperature.

Macaroni de forno translates to pasta in the oven; the original Greek pasta bake!

Pastitsio or Macaroni de forno is a bit like bread – usually served at room temperature but by God it is delicious when hot out of the oven!

Want more Greek recipes? Or sticking to just pasta recipes?

Makes 1 large baking tray to serve about 10-12 people

Pastitsio Recipe – Ingredients:

Pasta & Meat (base)

1 onion diced

500g pork mince

1 tsp ground cinnamon

Couple of sticks of cinnamon (about 2 inches long)

2 bay leaves

2 tbl of dried oregano (ideally Greek but any dried variety will work)

Olive oil

1 large tomato diced

Seasoning

15g parsley chopped

Pasta – three handfuls of long Pastitsio pasta tubes (if not, Penne will work)

Bechamel Sauce:

4 tablespoons butter

4 tablespoons plain flour

2 pints milk

Handful of grated cheese (feta or cheddar will work)

Pastitsio Recipe – Method:

  1. Cook pasta in salted boiling water and remove when al dente (it will cook in the oven as well).
  2. While pasta is boiling make base – season the pork mince and fry until cooked then strain off any fat and set aside.
  3. In the same pan fry the onions till golden in olive oil, add the tomato, oregano, cinnamon, bay leaves and season. Once cooked through add the pork mince and mix together.
  4. Once the pasta is just done, drain and pour in the mince meat into the pan and mix – you will now have a fairly dry mixture of pasta and pork mince. Taste and add more seasoning if needed.
  5. Now make your bechamel sauce.
  6. Melt the butter in a saucepan, add the flour and mix thoroughly on a low/medium heat for a few moments.
  7. Then slowly add a little milk at a time and keep mixing until you have enough to half fill whatever roasting dish you are going to use (don’t panic if you have some lumps they won’t be noticeable in the finished dish), remove from the heat and let cool for a few moments.
  8. Now assemble your Pastitsio; pour the pasta meat mix into the base of a roasting dish (you want it 3/4 of the way up the baking dish).
  9. Then gently pour the bechamel sauce over the top, season again.
  10. (If you want; you can freeze it at this stage; or if you can’t wait – cook it!)
  11. Stick in a pre-heated oven at 180c degrees for about 30 mins or until the top has turned a lovely brown golden colour. Remove from the oven and let set for 20 mins before serving.

Pastitsio or Macaroni de forno goes well with a Greek salad, a dozen other mezedes and preferably surrounded by an extremely loud and hospitable Greek family (NB. they don’t have to be your family – any Greek family will do).