Island Pasticio (Greek Noodle Casserole With Ground Meat)

"This tasty pasticio recipe is very popular in Greece. If you close your eyes and taste it, you'll travel and you will arrive in a taverna on a Greek Island."
photo by Artandkitchen photo by Artandkitchen
photo by Artandkitchen
photo by Baby Kato photo by Baby Kato
photo by Baby Kato photo by Baby Kato
photo by Annacia photo by Annacia
Ready In:
1hr 20mins


  • 500 g noodles (ziti or penne rigate)
  • Meat sauce

  • 4 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 500 g ground beef
  • 450 g tomatoes, pelati chopped
  • 2 tablespoons bread, crumbs
  • 100 ml dry wine
  • 1 tablespoon tomato concentrate
  • 1 tablespoon oregano, dried
  • 12 tablespoon cinnamon, ground
  • pepper
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 3 tablespoons kefalotiri (substitute pecorino or parmigiano cheese)
  • 1 egg
  • Bechamel sauce

  • 3 tablespoons margarine
  • 3 tablespoons flour
  • 2 cups milk
  • 2 cups water
  • 2 medium mashed potatoes (susbstitute 2 tablespoon potato powder and 1 cup water)
  • 12 teaspoon nutmeg
  • pepper
  • salt
  • 2 tablespoons kefalotiri (substitute pecorino or parmigiano cheese)
  • 1 egg


  • Prepare the pasta in salted water as indicated in the product descriptions. Drain it well and keep warm.
  • In the meanwhile prepare the meat sauce:

  • Fry the onion in the oil until golden.
  • Add garlic and meat. Cook for 5-8 Minutes until done.
  • Switch off the heat.
  • Add all the other ingredients one after the other as indicated in the ingredients list.
  • If necessary adjust the salt.
  • Mix milk with water in bowl.
  • For the bechamel melt margarine and add the flour.
  • Reduce heat when the flour changes color and add the milk/water mix at once. Stir it quickly until it thickens. Switch off the heat source.
  • Add all the remaining ingredients and adjust the salt.
  • Prepare your baking mold with some olive oil.
  • Put 2/3 of the pasta on the bottom of the mold (at least a 4 liter casserole!).
  • Add the meat sauce, followed by the remaining pasta and top with the bechamel sauce. Don't stir!
  • Bake 40 Minutes at 180°C or until the top is golden (heat and timing are basing it on convection oven).

Questions & Replies

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  1. Annacia
    I'm basing my rating on taste and comfort value. Mine didn't come out looking anywhere as good as awalde's but if you hadn't seen her pic this is an A-1 casserole. Mine didn't hold together so that it could be cut into squares. Since we are two (most of the time) I made a half recipe and after dinner tonight we still have two more dinners each! Loved the cinnamon, that's great addition. I will try this again to see if I can get it to firm up, but please don't let this stop you from giving this a try. It tastes wonderful even if you do have to scoop instead of slice it.
  2. davianng
    Made this last night for dinner using a 4-liter casserole, which it filled to the top. No substitutions or exclusions, made as written. Directions were a little awkward, no mention of size for the "baking mold", whatever that is. But the finished product was marvelous. Wonderful mix of tastes! Made for PRMR 12/10.
  3. Lara M.
    From the way it looks and smells and your tips this is a great recipe. I’d never seen mashed potatoes in a bechamel but it’s truly genius! Thank you so much, I’ll add this to my arsenal. Lara
  4. Baby Kato
    We so enjoyed this wonderful comforting meal awalde. It is well worth the extra effort. The nutmeg and cinnamon were a nice surpise, they added a lovely depth of flavor to the dish. I loved that you could taste all the ingredients, it was perfectly balanced. I made the recipe exactly as written but used fusilli noodles and pecorino cheese. What a big beautiful casserole this makes, it will be feeding us for the next few days. Thanks so much for sharing your recipe, which I will make again.


I'm a wife, mother, beekeeper, food addicted and lover of nature as well as travels. Travelling I discovered the pleasures for the food, his colors, taste and spices. Now I?m really devoted to food photography and I love experimenting with new recipes to share them with my family and the world. My main inspirations: Italy: my roots Switzerland: homeland Greece: adopted homeland Travelling: spices and dreams Herbs and Bees: education in biology Colors and shapes: love eat with eyes as well
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