8 servings
  • For the Tomato Meat Sauce:
  • 3 tablespoons good olive oil
  • 1 1/2 cups chopped yellow onion (1 large)
  • 1 pound lean ground beef
  • 1 pound lean ground lamb
  • 1/2 cup dry red wine
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic (3 large cloves)
  • 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves
  • Pinch of cayenne pepper
  • 1 can (28 ounces) crushed tomatoes in puree
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • For the Bechamel:
  • 1 1/2 cups whole milk
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 1/2 cups freshly grated Parmesan or Kasseri cheese
  • 2 extra-large eggs, beaten
  • 2/3 cup Greek-style yogurt, such as Fage Total
  • 3/4 pound small shells
Watch how to make this recipe.

For the sauce, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat in a large pot. Add the onion and saute for 5 minutes. Add the beef and lamb, and saute over medium heat for 8 to 10 minutes, until it's no longer pink, crumbling it with the back of wooden spoon. Drain off any excess liquid, add the wine, and cook for 2 more minutes. Add the garlic, cinnamon, oregano, thyme, and cayenne, and continue cooking over medium heat for 5 minutes. Add the tomatoes, 2 teaspoons salt, and 1 teaspoon pepper and simmer, stirring occasionally, for 40 to 45 minutes. Set aside.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

For the bechamel, heat the milk and cream together in a small saucepan over medium-low heat until simmering. In a medium saucepan, melt the butter. Add the flour and cook over medium heat, whisking constantly for 2 minutes. Pour the warm milk and cream mixture into the butter and flour mixture, whisking constantly. Continue cooking, stirring occasionally, over medium heat for 5 to 7 minutes, until smooth and thick. Add the nutmeg, 1 teaspoon salt, and 1 teaspoon of pepper. Stir in 3/4 cup of Parmesan cheese, 1/2 cup of the tomato and meat sauce, and allow to cool for 10 minutes. Stir in the eggs and yogurt and set aside.

Meanwhile, cook the pasta in a large pot of boiling water until al dente. Don't over-cook because the pasta will later be baked. Drain and set aside.

Add the pasta to the meat and tomato sauce, and pour the mixture into a baking dish. Spread the bechamel evenly to cover the pasta and sprinkle with the remaining 3/4 cup Parmesan cheese. Bake for 1 hour, until golden brown and bubbly. Set aside for 10 minutes and serve hot.

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4.6 263
I made this and substituted with one pound of spicy Italian sausage and one pound of lean ground turkey.  We don't eat lamb and I rarely buy ground beef.  It turned out great.  The spices are very aromatic.  It does take a while to make it because you have to simmer the meat for 45 minutes.  I would suggest making the Bechamel very last, even after the pasta has been combined with the meat sauce.  It cooks quickly and becomes thick and you don't want it too thick.  Its a process to assemble, but its an easy recipe and makes for great left overs.<br /> item not reviewed by moderator and published
This is a great recipe - we enjoyed it a lot as an alternative to baked ziti and lasagna, both of which we make frequently in colder weather. We had a cool snap here so this seemed like a good option. I agree with other commenters that it is time-consuming and does require several pans, however, with a little planning the preparation is not chaotic at all. It's really no more involved than many lasagna recipes. You could also make the sauce component a day ahead and then boil the pasta while you assemble the béchamel the next day. Some people have mentioned this being salty - my only suggestion would be that if you are not using no salt added/low sodium canned tomatoes you can probably cut down the salt in the sauce. Also, use either kosher salt (larger grains) or less table salt than the recipe calls for. And really, if you're going to cut the cinnamon in half "so you can't taste it" - just leave it out and don't waste the cinnamon. You're supposed to be able to taste it, so if you really can't abide it, skip it. However, I very much recommend leaving it in! We will definitely make this again. item not reviewed by moderator and published
i have made this three times now - each time i intend to figure out how to halve it and each time i just say screw it and make the full batch, it juuuust fits into my regular glass 9x13 and my boyfriend and i get two dinners out of it plus lunches. <br /><br />i will admit that i italian american-ize this a bit so it's more like a fancier baked ziti. (using ziti without lines in place of the shells.) the boyfriend does not like lamb and while i do like it, it does not agree with me, so i use all hamburger. i skip the wine as i never keep any in the house and in lieu of all the separate spices in the meat sauce, i use penzey's beef roast seasoning and a little extra oregano. (seasoning contains: <em>sweet paprika, salt, onion, celery, arrowroot, sugar, garlic, Tellicherry black pepper, parsley, dill seed, caraway, turmeric, dill weed, bay leaf, thyme, savory, basil, marjoram and rosemary. -</em> i use it whenever i use ground beef, highly recommend it!)<br /><br />i do make the bechamel almost exactly as directed though. the only teeny changes i made is to use regular salted butter as it's all i ever have/use and i use 2% milk instead of whole because again, that's what we have. <br /><br />the recipe is not difficult at all but it is time consuming, and every time i i make it i think it seems like so much time and quite a few dishes for baked pasta but when we finally dig in it is so worth it. i don't even bother with my lasagna recipe anymore! we always have it with a big ceasar salad and if i'm feeling super gluttonous some garlic bread too.  item not reviewed by moderator and published
This recipe sounds fantastic. However, I have been trying to e-mail it to my friend and it simply will not go through.  I've tried it 6 times now.  Why can't I e-mail it? item not reviewed by moderator and published
<p>I have never given a review online - this is my first and worth the time it takes to let everyone know this is the best recipe ever!  As I eat my leftovers for lunch right now, I think it's even better today than last night - if that is possible!  I am a huge Barefoot Contessa fan and have mad many of Ina's recipes in the past - this one as said below is "over the top".</p><p>I didn't have whole milk, heavy cream or yogurt - I was snowed in and used what I had -  so I used 2% milk and half and half.  the béchamel came out perfect!  I didn't have the parmesan cheese either, but I had the parmesan reggiano which I substituted which also came out perfect!  </p><p>I cant wait to make this for a dinner party! It is THAT GOOD!</p><p>Thanks Ina!</p> item not reviewed by moderator and published
I love this recipe.  This was in Ina's Make it Ahead cookbook.  The flavor is awesome.  The time it takes to make this is well worth it. item not reviewed by moderator and published
This recipe is absolutely outstanding. I am a huge Ina fan and this one is over the top. item not reviewed by moderator and published
I halved the recipe because it was just my husband and I, but in retrospect, I wish I had made a full batch so I'd have even more leftovers. This recipe is delicious, and it's very simple to pull together. Will make again! item not reviewed by moderator and published love with this receipe item not reviewed by moderator and published
I made this last night for the first time, the only modification made was i sauteed chopped carrots with the onions....OMG! This was amazing! I will definitely make this again but for a special occasion since it is a bit labor intensive (worth it though). item not reviewed by moderator and published
Made this today, fabulous! I love this recipe and the house smells wonderful! I did double the béchamel recipe, because we love it so much! The time spent for prep is totally worth the end result! item not reviewed by moderator and published
I saw Ina recently in my hometown promoting her new book. Awesome experience!! When she mentioned this recipe, the audience moaned so I had to make it. It is DELICIOUS! I made it exactly as stated in the recipe. The cinnamon amount was just right. The bechemel is really good. The only thing I would change next time is using half the salt. We were so thirsty afterwards. I have a new oven that runs high so I baked it for 45 minutes, not an hour. This recipe takes some time to prepare, but worth every minute! Just have all of your ingredients measured before you start. item not reviewed by moderator and published
This is a little time consuming to make but it pays off huge! Delicious! Very good flavor. item not reviewed by moderator and published
Should only have 1/2 tsp of cinnamon. Other than that excellent. item not reviewed by moderator and published
This dish should be rated 100 stars! It's worth every second you spend preparing and baking. One of the best smelling foods i've ever made. Delicious! item not reviewed by moderator and published
OMG this was so husband loved it, and getting him to eat pasta is difficult! I used 1 1/2 lbs beef and 1/2 lbs sweet Italian sausage (we do not like lamb). Wonderful as always Ina!! item not reviewed by moderator and published
YUM! Pasta is always a hit at our home &amp; this will be a added to future menus. I lightened up the Bechemel by using fat-free milk &amp; fat-free half/half-it turned out terrific. Thanks Ina for yet one more mouth watering recipe to enjoy! item not reviewed by moderator and published
Awesome! I loved this recipe and my family did too. I halved it, since we don't usually eat up left-overs, and I used beef broth since I had some on hand instead of red wine. At my local grocery they didn't have crushed tomatoes in puree, so I just used a can of tomato sauce and a can of tomato paste. The sauce was great, but the highlight was the bechamel sauce. I licked the pot after I had spread it on the casserole. I will definitely make this again! item not reviewed by moderator and published
Terrific !!!! It was delish , and I was a hit at the dinner table !!!!!!! You feel transported to a middle eastern place ~~~ really reccomend it ! item not reviewed by moderator and published
Excellent! Everyone loved this recipe. Made the recipe as stated. I made it the day before and brought it to room temperature before baking. item not reviewed by moderator and published
A very unusual dish as I have never added that much cinnamon to anything but absolutely delicious! I made it for my family and they ate it all up. My mom is actually quite picky and she loved it! I could keep any left overs. Great dish!! item not reviewed by moderator and published
Fantastic!! item not reviewed by moderator and published
Delicious but... I halved it, following instructions, using a 7 1/4 x 10" pan because the quantity of meat/shells was too much for a '9 x 9'. Today's Pyrex version of the latter is way too shallow to accommodate mixture + custard. Halving the custard sauce resulted in not enough to create a thick layer of custard on top. Just covered the casserole. Next time I will reduce shell quantity from 6 oz. to 4 oz., and double the sauce-custard. As made, it was a tasty 'comfort' casserole but not what I think of as real Pastiitsio, nor 5-star stellar. item not reviewed by moderator and published
This sounds like a very close cousin of Greek Moussaka--my all time favorite and one of those "engagement" recipes--really it works! I cannot wait to try this using only lamb as I am a purest. The shell pasta replacing the eggplant seems to be the only major difference. The pastitsio even has a custard--I think I butchered the spelling. My only warning is that this is not "easy" to make but well worth your efforts, especially if an engagement is in your stars. I never review a recipe without first making it, but the Moussaka connection and Ina's reputation screamed 4 Stars. item not reviewed by moderator and published
It was so tasty that my husband thought he could eat 4 pieces at once. I used left-over Thanksgiving turkey in place of lamb. I think I found the best leftvover turkey dish! I'm going to try mixing pork next time as we don't eat lamb. I followed recipe almost as it is, especially the method. Modification I made includes - Adding more &amp; varied fresh herbs (our garden happen to have ample supply of oregano, marjoram, rosemary, parsley, basil now), - 2% milk instead of whole (because that's all I had) - Elbow macaroni instead of shell (because I didn't have shell pasta) - Less cinnamon (per other reviewers' suggestion) Baking time was 40 min. As with many other recipes, things cook faster with preheated big oven. It started smelling really nice 30 min into cooking. It cooked fast from there. So it's important to monitor it. Yes it was a little bit labor-intensive, time consuming. But it's an easy dish you can follow with basic ingredients. Thanks Ina for another great recipe. item not reviewed by moderator and published
This is a great dish. I followed the recipe exactly as written (except I substituted 2% milk for whole milk and I used a small penne-type pasta) and it turned out perfectly. It had a great consistency. She has added eggs and yogurt to the bechamel so when you pour it over the meat sauce/pasta mixture, it will sit on top and not just drain through to the bottom. Great recipe! item not reviewed by moderator and published
I&amp;#39;ve made this before and didn&amp;#39;t read the reviews prior. This time I read the reviews especially concerning the eggs. I elected to put two eggs in the meat mixture and two in the béchamel. The meat mixture needs it to stay together! I also did not put any meat mixture in the béchamel. Everything else was per the recipe and it was perfect. I made it for a Greek Festival and it got rave reviews. item not reviewed by moderator and published
After seeing this episode, I was like I have to try this!!! So I did and it turned out great! My husband absolutely loved it!!! At first I was really nervous about all the cinnammon but I actually enjoyed the taste. But if you don&amp;#39;t want to actually taste the cinnammon I would suggest cutting it in half. I used half ground beef and half ground turkey because I did not find ground lamb. I also used Fage&amp;#39;s 2% and ground nutmeg. I took the pastistio out of the oven at around 42 minutes and it was cooked perfectly so watch it closely. Thanks Ina! item not reviewed by moderator and published
Interesting twist on classic Pastitsio. There are good things here. There are things you can change. 1 - Cut the cinnamon in half - at least. 2 - Lamb and beef are a good combo. All lamb is better. 3 - You can make the bechamel with 2 C of 2% Milk and 1/2 C cream and it will be very good. You can also use Fage&amp;#39;s 2% instead of their Total - whole milk - yogurt and it works well. The fat here can be reduced with good outcome. 4 - A tube pasta like penne or mostacoli is more typical than shell pasta. 5 - On show she used pre grated nutmeg...ugh! Good to see she calls for fresh grated nutmeg here. Fresh grated makes all the difference. 6 - Don&amp;#39;t mix meat sauce into the béchamel! The beauty of Pastitsio is the ivory colored smooth sauce over the pasta and meat sauce. Stirring meat sauce into bechamel as here muddies that up. In different strokes for different folks, the plain bechamel is better. 7 - Watch cooking time - you likely won&amp;#39;t need the hour recipe specifies. item not reviewed by moderator and published
After watching the Barefoot Contessa, Surprise Surprise episode, I was compelled to try her recipe. Being Greek, I felt like this would be a good challlenge. I must admit, I use Tyler Florence&amp;#39;s moussaka meat recipe. BUT THE PASTISIO WAS SO DELISH! Typically you would layer the noodles, then meat sauce, noodles then bechamel. By mxing the noodles with the meat sauce was a great idea. Traditional bechamel for this dish doesn&amp;#39;t include parmesan, but wow, does it add flavor. So much so, my daughter who only eats pastitsio right out of the oven, was eating the leftovers for lunch and dinner! Thanks, INA! item not reviewed by moderator and published
Delish! Will definitely make it again. Used beef and substituted ground pork and veal for the lamb. By the way, I don&amp;#39;t understand the big debate about the eggs in the bechamel. The ingredients list and the directions say SPECIFICALLY to add the eggs to the bechamel with the yogurt. All you need to do is read!!! item not reviewed by moderator and published
We had this Pastitsio at a friend&amp;#39;s house last week and when he told me it was Ina Garten&amp;#39;s, I was not surprised. So flavorful, moist and multi-layered flavors. I&amp;#39;ve had Pastitsio in fine Greek restaurants but never as good as this one. The shells were an interesting diversion from what I&amp;#39;ve had before - Macaronia - which is uncut macaroni - long like spaghetti. The shells were fine but personally I would probably use macaroni or penne. For some reason I associate pasta shells w/seafood dishes. One note - I do love a touch of cinnamon in Middle East foods but a little goes a long way. I will be making this for our anniversary party this fall along with Ina&amp;#39;s Greek Salad. If you try this, you won&amp;#39;t be sorry! Jackie item not reviewed by moderator and published
Everyone said it was very good. my kitchen smelled so good. it takes alittle time to prepare bet well worth it. Thanks Ina. I used 1 lb. of ground turkey instead of lamb. very satisfying item not reviewed by moderator and published
If I could give this ten stars, I would. Deliriously delicious! I followed the ingredients closely, adding only a bit of extra cinnamon and oregano. I also didn't check the simmering time--since it was going to bake anyway, I only simmered the meat as long as it took for me to finish the béchamel sauce. And the dish turned out so amazingly that everyone just wolfed it down in silence at the table! Everyone had seconds! Watch your baking time--I use a convection oven and baked at 330 degrees for only 40 minutes. After that, I kept it warm at 200 degrees until it was time to eat. The flavors are amazing and you have wiggle room, so go for it. item not reviewed by moderator and published
This is soooo good! Utterly delicious! One of my most requested dishes to make for guests. The keys are quality cinnamon, great ground lamb, and make sure to simmer the sauce for a minimum of 45 minutes to meld the flavors into an incredible rich sauce. Thanks Ina for a stellar recipe! item not reviewed by moderator and published
Delicious alternative to either Lasagna or Moussaka. This is a great base recipe, to which you can add your own family likes, for example, as I like extra veg in my meals, I chopped up some celery, fennel and mushrooms, which I sauted with the onion. item not reviewed by moderator and published
This is fantastic! We love lazagna, and when I saw Ina put this together, I just had to make it. Only difference is, I couldn't find the ground lamb, so I purchased ground chicken to mix with the beef. It actually was very tasty. This is a keeper in my recipe box! item not reviewed by moderator and published
This was good &amp; overall we liked the flavor blends. However, I cut back the cinnamon to less than a tsp. I like cinnamon in savory recipes - I put it in my chili and vegetable beef soup, but a TBS in 2 lbs. of meat is a little excessive. We love lamb, so I doubled the lamb &amp; left out the ground beef. It was a little more labor intensive that most of Ina's recipes. My spouse wanted more tomato. item not reviewed by moderator and published
Fabulous. Followed the recipe exactly and the result was delicious. I will definitely repeat this recipe and I may never make lasagna again! Thanks Ina item not reviewed by moderator and published
AMAZING. Used Italian sausage instead of the beef and lamb. Prefer it too the Food Network Kitchen's version. Can also use canned tomato sauce if you want to cheat a little. I did think it was a lot of work, but in the end it was worth it, and fed my parents and I for two nights and one lunch. item not reviewed by moderator and published
I have made this recipe three times using Texturized Vegetable Protein, zucchini, or eggplant instead of lamb. Everyone raved about this dish! item not reviewed by moderator and published
This is fantastic. And you could easily make this with whatever ground meat you had on hand in a pinch. I just made it with 1/2 lamb, 1/2 beef as directed this first time though. I had to eliminate the 1 hour baking time at the end by eliminating the eggs in the bechamel sauce so I could just warm it in the oven for 10 minutes since I made it after work during the week. This was so good my 2 year old even ate it. item not reviewed by moderator and published
My husband, who is 100% Italian American and who says he could eat pasta every day, said this was the best pasta he ever had in his life! Amazingly light considering the ingredients. He is already worried I won't be able to reproduce it again! Takes time but is much easier to assemble than lasagna. Incredible results! item not reviewed by moderator and published
I would give this recipe 5 stars based on the flavor. The amount of cinnamon was perfect (a guest even commented on it being "just the right amount". My only issue is the level of richness in the bechamel;too much cream for my taste. I will make this again, but with regular milk. item not reviewed by moderator and published
Delish! My hubby and I both loved this dish. So many great flavor combinations! I will def. make it again item not reviewed by moderator and published
Totally awesome, love the taste of the lamb with yogurt and nutmeg. item not reviewed by moderator and published
This was completely delicious. Although some of the touches are not authentic, I appreciate them because this is a dish that can be kind of bland. I followed the recipe as written, but added a few cloves to the meat as I feel this enhances the flavor. Also, I feel that parmesan cheese is a bad substitute for kasseri cheese, which most people will not be able to find. On this attempt I used fontina, which was pretty tasty. item not reviewed by moderator and published
Fantastic and I love her receipes. No surprises and they are easy to follow. item not reviewed by moderator and published
Made this tonight for my husband's 67th birthday. All his kids, and their kids LOVED, LOVED, LOVED it. I made it the day before, and it was the best! The only thing (and I mean ONLY thing I changed, was I used penne. Thank you so much for this fabulous recipe. We were in Greece 2 years ago, and we celebrated tonight's dinner with a Greek theme. I also created Ina's Greek Salad. Gosh, everything was so yummy. Thank you for sharing this with us, Ina. Oh, it was so delicious. item not reviewed by moderator and published
This is comfort food on steroids! I made three changes, two based on prior reviews. I added allspice and cut back on cinnamon (not just because I added allspice. I also used a high fiber small penne pasta from Trader Joes (a small nod to health haha. I may have to put a lock on my refrigerator to prevent me from eating the leftovers in a day! Make this for a date night with a nice salad, and he/she will fall instantly for you. item not reviewed by moderator and published
This recipe was delicious and my guests loved it! I put a little more nutmeg in the béchamel as I did not grind fresh. Will make this one of my go-to recipes...thanks Ina!! Judy Spicewood, TX item not reviewed by moderator and published
I liked it. I also found there was WAY too much cinnamon and not enough salt, but I will adjust the seasonings next time. I found the bechamel layer a little spongy for my taste, but I dont like mousse and thats what it reminded me of. The parmesan crust was awesome and worked great with the dish. item not reviewed by moderator and published
My husband made this after watching the show. I don't know what the excitement was all about. I threw the recipe in the trash and we have enough left over to eat for a month. Too much cinnamon, not enough salt...just not enough flavor of any sort? Never again will he put this much work into such a mediocre meal item not reviewed by moderator and published
Delicious! This dish is well worth the effort. Perfect for an otherwise lazy Sunday afternoon. I do agree with other reviewers, however, who cautioned to reduce the amount of cinnamon. I used about 1/2 of a TBSP and it was perfect. Love Ina!! item not reviewed by moderator and published
Oh my incredible good. Took a lot of time and effort to prepare but was well worth it. item not reviewed by moderator and published
I agree with leemcb of Texas, this is a fabulous dish. Thanks, Ina. I have also tried adding 1 tsp of allspice to the meat sauce which made for an interesting touch of flavor but I have also tried adding a couple anchovies to the olive oil and onion saute step and this really ads another depth of flavor to this recipe. To even add more interesting flavors, try smashing the garlic and then dicing it into a paste with a touch of Kosher salt. This trick is suggested by Jacques Pepin and it is worth the extra effort to magnify the garlic flavors. IMO, both tips make a fabulous recipe even more fabulous. Next time I am going to try making this without the cinnamon. Just to see if I miss it. Good luck. item not reviewed by moderator and published
This was FABULOUS. I've been looking for a good moussaka recipe for years--forget that, I'll just make THIS! It has what I was looking for in a moussaka. Added a bit of allspice to the meat sauce ala Rachael Ray--have never put this in a tomato-based meat sauce and not liked it. Great in this recipe too. Tinky929, no, Ina did NOT put the eggs in the meat sauce--she put them in the bechamel, and then put some of the meat sauce in the bechamel. Don't skip this step, because it really gives the bechamel great flavor--I usually won't do bechamel in a lasagne type dish because I think they taste too bland. Not this one! Thanks again, Ina! Adding eggplant next time...yum! item not reviewed by moderator and published
You could at least make an attempt to stick to the "traditional",,,real recipe for Pastitsio Ina....otherwise please tell us that this is YOUR version.......big difference....and shell pasta, small or big, has no place in this dish.... item not reviewed by moderator and published
This recipe is wonderful and freezes beautifully. It is a great dinner party entree -- but, iIf you don't need the whole recipe, pour into 2 smaller baking dishes &amp; freeze one of them. Ina's recipes are always dependable! item not reviewed by moderator and published
This has become one of my family's ALL TIME favorite! It is absolutley delicious. It is extremely easy to prepare, although does take a bit of time to make, but well worth your efforts. item not reviewed by moderator and published
Amazing. Followed the recipe completely. Wonderful, well worth the time. Will make again and again. item not reviewed by moderator and published
I loved this recipe, I will certainly make it again. I used ground turkey instead of the lamb. I also substituted no fat half and half to replace the cream. I actually did not change the final results. My husband loved it. item not reviewed by moderator and published
I've made over and over!! Delicious!! I have also made the food network magazine version. Which is great, But we prefer inas version! I love the shells versed the tubes. They hold the meat sauce way better. The tubes make the dish seem too pasta-y. Food network version didn't have enough meat. Next time I will try food networks version with another pound of meat and shells!! item not reviewed by moderator and published
I love this recipe! My family doesn't eat lanb so I used groung buffalo or ground turkey. Took out the cinnamon and nutmeg... Those compliment lamb. It was wonderful!!! Thank Ina!!! item not reviewed by moderator and published
I have made many of Ina's recipes over the years and this is one of my new favorites. I made it a day ahead of time and baked it off the next day ... absolutely delicious! It easily serves 8-10 (and maybe a few more depending on serving size. I always make a recipes as written the first time and then will adjust it to my taste for future use. Not this one; make it exactly as written (I made it with Greek wine and a combination of Kasseri and Parmensan cheeses and your guests will love it! item not reviewed by moderator and published
Excellent recipe. item not reviewed by moderator and published
Delicious recipe. Thumbs up from the whole family including teenagers. I used penne pasta and chicken broth instead of wine. This recipe makes a lot of food. Four adults ate less than half. I agree that the recipe used many pots and pans. I used the baking time to polish my stainless pots. I'm sure the left overs will be fabulous. item not reviewed by moderator and published
DEEEEELISH the eggs are in the bechamel!!!! I added ricotta instead of the yogurt, worked well!! item not reviewed by moderator and published
This was a very nice dish. the cheese sauce really goes well. instead of using parmesan cheese i used normal gouda cheese and it actually works well. i am really impressed item not reviewed by moderator and published
Best Recipe Ever. My family loves this recipe. item not reviewed by moderator and published
I made several changes for ease of baking (including having a second chef in the kitchen and it turned out wonderfully. If you're looking for a way to lighten the recipe up --a little-- I recommend using Fanny Farmer's Bechamel sauce recipe instead of the recipe listed and doubling it. I also used 2 cups of cheese (mozzarella because my local grocery store didn't have kasseri, only 2 teaspoons of some rather excellent Chinese cinnamon and 2 pounds of ground round instead of half beef/half lamb. This recipes does use several pans and a lot of space, but it was a lot easier with two people and another dish to make to occupy the simmer time for the tomato meat sauce. item not reviewed by moderator and published
The first time I made this, following the recipe exactly with the exception of using broth instead of wine, it came out good, but the cinnamon flavor was overpowering and the meat was a little dry. The next time I made it, I decreased the cinnamon from 1 tablespoon to 1 teaspoon and added another half a can of tomatoes to the sauce and it came out much, much better; perfect! The best thing about this dish is that it tastes even better left over. item not reviewed by moderator and published
This was just okay. For the amount of work that is needed for this, it should be better. I won't make this again but it was worth trying. We'll eat up everything - and there is A LOT of it - but I'll go on to find something else that tastes better. item not reviewed by moderator and published
This is AMAZING; however I have a few things to note: • Its a TON of food- my bf and I will be eating this for lunch and dinner for 5 days. • I had never made a béchamel sauce before and was elated at how easy it was- thanks Ina! • I used half &amp; half instead of heavy whipping- it still got thick! Also used SHREDDED parm instead of GRATED- still YUM! • I have never used more pans for a meal in my life, also this does not fit into a typical 13x9 pan you need something DEEPER- its a lot of volume. • I didn't have any wine, skipped it and still delicious! item not reviewed by moderator and published
Ina is the best. This is a delicious meal, rich with complex flavors. But be careful. Just a few minutes too long and the top will burn. I'd heat for 35-40 minutes. item not reviewed by moderator and published
Just outstanding dish! It's a little labor-intensive, but SO worth it. I couldn't find any ground lamb at the store, so I just used a lean ground chuck. Also, I did a no-no: I used cooking wine instead of a really good wine, like Ina always suggests. All that aside, what a delicious meal! I also added another teaspoon of chopped thyme leaves to sprinkle over the Bechamel along with the Parmesan cheese. The Bechamel had such a sweet and wonderful flavor I thought it would be complimented nicely with the thyme. item not reviewed by moderator and published
Yum. I'm not usually a nutmeg fan and adding cinnamon to meat is new to me but it works with this dish. The Bechamel sauce is devine. Just give me a bowl of that and a spoon! Time consuming and lots of dishes but soo worth it. Ina always seems to make enough to feed the whole nieghborhood. I suggest making half of the recipe for 4-6 people and you'll still have leftovers. item not reviewed by moderator and published
OMG - I can't wait to make this Greek treat. I am going to follow your recipe in its entirety. I'll let you know how it turns out. I am giving this recipe a guaranteed five-star rating ahead of time - because I have used your other recipes and they are always perfect! Thanks, Ina. item not reviewed by moderator and published
My husband will be making this recipe, but he will only be using 1 tsp of cinnamon. I will let you know how it turns out. item not reviewed by moderator and published
Made this recipe several times. Great to share with friends and family for a small group meal. Takes about 3 hours in the kitchen, so good for a stay-at-home day. Pairs well with Shiraz. Easy to make, but takes some time and patience. Best pastitsio recipe I have found to date. Be sure to sip some red wine while preparing this. item not reviewed by moderator and published
loved,loved loved it!!!!!! second time daughter forgot to add the eggs so the sauce mixed in a bit to the meat layer. don't know which way I prefer. I have even tried it with ground turkey for my kids that don't like the thought of eating lamb. different but very tasty. I do prefer it with lamb and beef. item not reviewed by moderator and published
Just made this and ate it tonight. I compared many recipes and this is by far the best. It does take a lot of work and pots and pans. But this dish is better than at a restaurant. I added some shredded whole milk mozzarella at the end for a creamy cheesy delight. Love you Ina! item not reviewed by moderator and published
soooo good, even the cat licked the bowl clean item not reviewed by moderator and published
this is simply divine....typically an Ina Garten masterpiece. Ideal for dinner party or family get together! I live in rural Scotland and got minced lamb 'nae bother' in my village...tho a lot more expensive than the supermarket! Have made it with both local butcher's and supermarket's minced lamb and didn't notice any difference in taste, it was still delish! I love the woman and have tried many many of her recipes from her tv programmes, she is such an inspiration. Wouldn't dream of changing a thing in the recipe, why mend something that isn't broken? item not reviewed by moderator and published
AMAZING!! My whole family loved it! it was time consuming, but simple to make and tastes fantastic! item not reviewed by moderator and published
I'm from Cape Town and watched Ina make this - it looks absolutely delicious and I'm going to try it when I have the girls around. It makes 8 so suits me fine. Shall come back with my report. : item not reviewed by moderator and published
Rich and delicious! I didn't make her lamb sauce, though. I already had some meat sauce in the freezer so I used that. Everyone had seconds and thirds. item not reviewed by moderator and published
This is actually the first recipe off Food Network that piqued my interest enough to make it myself. I followed Ina's recipe exactly. I had to go to an actual butcher's shop, as none of the chain grocers in my area carried ground lamb. Overall it was very good. I do think the cinnamon was a little much. Perhaps I'm just not accustomed to cinnamon in my savory dishes quite yet. Despite being slightly bothered by the cinnamon, I can't seem to stop eating it!!!! Thirds, anyone? item not reviewed by moderator and published
this is very delicious. it is a very rich dish so some might want to split the recipe in half because i had a ton left over. item not reviewed by moderator and published
Very good. I thought it was a perfect combination of flavors. I did not think that the cinnamon was overpowering as some people said in their reviews. It was just right. I used all ground beef in place of the lamb. My whole family loved the meal... even my 2 &amp; 3 year olds. This dish is great to make for a crowd &amp; has elegant flavors. I served it with a simple salad with homemade vinegarette. item not reviewed by moderator and published
I made this for my boyfriend and he loved it! I didn't think the cinnamon or nutmeg was overpowering. The only modification I made was not mixing any of the meat into the white layer. I preferred that layer soft and creamy. Not sure how authentically greek the recipe is, but it's delicious! item not reviewed by moderator and published
Good stuff item not reviewed by moderator and published
Absolutely delicious! I would say the recipe is pretty easy except that at takes around two hours and requires at least five dirty pans. That is a little too much clean up for me. I halved the recipe and it made four large servings in a 7 x 11 baking dish. I live in a big city but it was still difficult to find ground lamb and I had to settle for frozen. I will definitely make this for my next pot luck because it is different, delicious and everyone will be impressed. item not reviewed by moderator and published
The recipe is great! It differs slightly from what my (Greek family prepares. We don't add garlic to the meat sauce; the pasta layer is made with long hollow noodles that are not mixed with the meat layer - the cheese sauce holds the noodles together in a separate layer. We also sprinkle fresh bread crumbs on the bottom of the dish to make removing the pieces easy to do. To the person wanting to substitute the mother and grandmother would dissolve a teaspoon of tomato paste in warm water instead of using the wine. I, however, plan to use Ina's recipe to "update" our traditional one. Just don't tell my Yiayia! And Ina...please don't be offended...but you need a reliable Greek consultant....your pronunciation of some of the Greek dishes....well, let me just say you're not from the Peloponnese, but I do love your cooking! Best to you and thanks for all that you do! item not reviewed by moderator and published
i am having a girls night out and i think i am going to do this recipe ...i can't wait....i want to say that i love how you and your husband are so in love, you remind me of my husband and me....i really enjoy watching....i plan on making a special surprise surprise for my hubby in our backyard using alot of your great ideas....keep on cooking ina we love you item not reviewed by moderator and published
First of all, you must try the bechamel, minus the eggs, yogurt and meat sauce, all by itself as a fondue. It is superb. With the freshly grated parmesan and the heavy cream this is a real treat. Really by adding the eggs and turning the bechamel into a custard was probably unnecessary and next time I make this I will omit the eggs and see how it works out. I think Ina wanted to make sure the bechamel didn't soak into the pasta and it doesn't with the eggs. Well, back to the pastitsio: my kids loved it and there was hardly anything leftover. I am also cinnamon-shy so I used only 1/4 tsp cinnamon and 1 tsp cumin as someone suggested and it tasted great, but still I would have preferred a traditional italian flavoring because that's just my preference. But it was something different and a nice change and like I said, the family loved it and scarfed it up! item not reviewed by moderator and published
Wow this recipe was fantastic. We served it with a california pinot. Loved the cinnamon and nutmeg flavor that was very forward. item not reviewed by moderator and published
This recipe is GREAT!!! It came out wonderfully &amp; reminds me of the pastitsio I loved as a kid from a greek restaurant. I used just under a full tblsp of the cinnamon; I think it complements the lamb well and it really isn't sweet, even though it will smell like you added too much. I used 1lb. of ziti noodles instead of shells, as that is a little more authentic, and I didn't mix the noodles with the meat. Instead, I took some of the bechamel and mixed with about 1/4 of the noodles, layering it on the bottom of the pyrex before layering the meat, then the rest of the plain noodles, and then the bechamel on top. I also used low-fat Fage yogurt and soy milk instead of whole (still used the heavy cream). I wholeheartedly recommend this recipe... its a tad time consuming, but I will definitely make it again. (As for the comment about there being too much fat and competing with Paula Deen... the nature of this recipe isn't to be on a health food menu, and it's not a southern dish either...) item not reviewed by moderator and published
Hello Ina, I saw you make this receipe, and i cant wait to make it. Just thinking of it makes my mouth water. I do love your kooking and follow you each day. You have given me manny ideas to just inprove my kooking. Bless you . item not reviewed by moderator and published
I've made this twice. I make it on the weekend and we eat it during the week. Today I brought it in for my boss's surprise birthday party. It was a big hit. Lots of questions about what's in it. I love it. item not reviewed by moderator and published
What kind of salt did you use? Kosher salt has bigger grains than table salt. Use a lot less of table salt. item not reviewed by moderator and published

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Easy Comfort Food Recipes