Greek lasagna recipe

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If you like lasagna, you will love this Greek-inspired version. Patsitsio is a Mediterranean baked pasta dish that layers meat sauce with pasta and béchamel. The meat sauce is surprisingly simple but packs a lot of flavor with a bit of cinnamon, bay leaves, and oregano. This is a serious meal and great to serve a big crowd—but the leftovers are even better. To make ahead of time, assemble and keep in the fridge until ready to bake.

  • Yield: 6 to 8 Servings


For the Meat Sauce
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil, plus extra for the pasta
  • 1¼ pounds ground beef or meatball blend
  • 2 medium yellow onions, roughly chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • ¼ cup white wine
  • 2 cups canned crushed tomatoes
  • Pinch chili flakes
  • 2 fresh or dried bay leaves
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 cinnamon stick
For the Bechamel and Pasta
  • 1 pound No. 2 Greek macaroni, bucatini, or rigatoni
  • 3 eggs, separated
  • ¾ cup grated Parmesan cheese, divided
  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • ¼ cup plus 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 3 cups milk
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • Freshly grated nutmeg, to taste
How to Make It
  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F.
  2. For the meat sauce, heat a large pan with straight sides over medium-high heat. When hot, add the olive oil and then the ground beef and let sit for 2 to 3 minutes to develop a nice brown on the meat. Stir and cook for another 2 to 3 minutes at this heat and then reduce to medium. Add the onions and sauté for another 3 to 5 minutes until they are translucent. Add the minced garlic and let cook for 30 seconds to a minute, until it’s fragrant.
  3. Add the wine, crushed tomatoes, chili flakes, bay leaves, oregano, and cinnamon and simmer uncovered for 20 to 25 minutes. Remove the bay leaves and cinnamon stick and adjust the seasoning. Set aside until ready to assemble.
  4. For the pasta, heat a large pot full of water over high heat. When it comes to a boil, season generously with salt to the point the cooking water tastes salty. Add the pasta and cook just a minute short of the package’s recommended cook time. You want the pasta al dente because it will finish cooking in the oven. Drain and toss with olive oil. Lightly beat the 3 egg whites and add to the drained pasta along with ¼ cup of the grated Parmesan cheese. Mix to combine thoroughly.
  5. In a medium pot, melt butter over medium heat and add flour. Whisk until the flour is fully incorporated and continue to cook out any raw flour taste for 2 to 3 minutes. Add milk and increase the heat to bring up to boil, whisking continuously to prevent lumps. Mixture should start to thicken and bubble. Lightly beat the 3 egg yolks in a bowl and add a few ladlefuls of the béchamel to bring the yolks up to temperature. Slowly add them back into the béchamel sauce and turn off the heat. Lastly, whisk in the remaining ½ cup grated Parmesan cheese and adjust the seasoning of the béchamel.
  6. Now, you want to assemble the lasagna. Grease a 3-quart baking dish and add 2⁄3 of the pasta. Top with all the meat sauce and then the remaining 1⁄3 of the pasta. For the final layer, add all the béchamel.
  7. Bake for 35 to 45 minutes until the béchamel is set and starting to brown. I like to throw it under the broiler for 2 to 3 minutes before serving to develop more brown on top, but watch because it browns quickly!
  8. Let cool a bit before cutting—that way, it keeps its shape. Serve warm.

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