By Katherine Gaetanos
(From Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Church cookbook, A Taste of St. Augustine, Florida)
½ lb. large elbow macaroni
1½ sticks butter
1½ lbs. lean ground chuck
1 medium onion
1 small garlic clove, minced
1 small can tomato puree
6 large eggs
3¼ C. milk
½ lb. grated Romano cheese
Scant ½ C. flour
Cinnamon (to taste)
1 whole allspice (optional)
½ bay leaf
Salt and white pepper (to taste)
Cook macaroni according to package directions. Drain.
In large bowl, mix with ¼ stick butter. Beat 3 eggs with a whisk. Add ¼ C. milk and mix with the macaroni. Set aside.
Cook onion and garlic in frying pan with 2 T. water until tender and water evaporates. Add ¼ stick butter and continue cooking until butter melts.
Add meat to the frying pan and cook until brown, breaking meat up with fork. Add tomato puree, salt and pepper to taste, bay leaf, allspice, dash of cinnamon and ½ to ¾ C. water. Reduce heat and simmer for 20 to 30 minutes. Discard allspice and bayleaf.
Mix meat sauce with the macaroni. Melt ½ stick butter. Pour into 9 x 13 x 2-inch baking dish, buttering bottom and sides of the dish.
Spread half macaroni and meat mixture in pan. Sprinkle with ¼ of the cheese. Repeat layers.
Warm three remaining cups of milk. Beat 3 eggs well and set aside. Melt ½ stick butter in heavy saucepan, add flour and blend well. Whisk in warm milk gradually. Cook until sauce thickens. Remove from heat, whisking in beaten eggs and remaining cheese. Return to llow heat for two minutes to cook. Add salt and white pepper to taste.
Spread sauce over macaroni. Bake at 375 for 45 minutes or until top is golden. Cool 15 minutes. Serves 12 for dinner or 20 buffet servings.
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