In search of this delicious and rich Greek pasta dish we set out to Café Olympia on River Street in Savannah and we were not disappointed. When owner and Chef Nick is in the house, you know you will be able to taste the best and most authentic Greek cuisine you can find in the South.
We replicated this dish in our kitchen using a recipe that was handed down from an old Greek family.
Preparation time: 20 minutes
Cooking time: 1 hour
- 1 lb ground beef
- 16 oz penne pasta or #2 pastitsio pasta
- 6 eggs
- 1 onion
- 1 cup crushed tomatoes
- 1 ½ cup parmesan cheese
- 3 tbsp parsley
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- Fresh pepper
- Fry the ground beef until browned. Add the finely chopped onion and crushed tomatoes and let simmer over low heat.
- Season the mixture with cinnamon, parsley and pepper.
- Boil the pasta in salted water until al dente (about 9 minutes). Drain and set aside.
- Separate the egg yolks from the egg white.
- Beat the egg whites in a blender until foamy.
- Make a béchamel sauce and temper the whisked egg yolks by slowly adding the warm béchamel.
- Mix the beaten egg whites with the drained pasta.
- Make on layer of the pasta mixture (egg whites and pasta) and pat down. Top with parmesan cheese. Place one layer of the meat/tomato mixture and top again with cheese. Top with one more layer of pasta.
- Pour the béchamel/egg sauce on top and finish with parmesan cheese.
- Place the dish in a preheated oven (325) until the sauce settles and is lightly firm but still fluffy.
- Let the dish rest (covered) for 10 minutes before slicing.
Cut the pastitsio into large squares and plate with Greek olives and/or pita bread.