Greek Baked Pasta Recipe

The moist and fragrant casserole pastitsio combines béchamel (a sauce of butter, flour and milk), pasta, ground lamb, tomato sauce, cheese, cinnamon and nutmeg. Instead of béchamel, Grace Parisi stirs a ricotta mixture into the pasta before baking it.

Picture Credit: Yunhee Kim

Recipe By: Grace Parisi

Pairing Notes: Blends from the Italian grape Refosco and the Greek Mavrodaphne are fabulous with this Greek Baked Pasta.

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Greek Baked Pasta picture


Difficulty LevelEasyHealth IndexHealthy
Main IngredientInterest Group


 Extra virgin olive oil2 Tablespoon
 Lean ground lamb1 1⁄2 Pound
 Onion1 , finely chopped
 Dried oregano1 Teaspoon, crumbled
 Cinnamon3⁄4 Teaspoon
 Ground cloves1 Pinch
 Freshly ground pepper To Taste
 Salt To Taste
 Canned marinara sauce3 Cup (48 tbs) (Or Jarred)
 Ziti/Penne1 Pound
 Fresh ricotta cheese1 1⁄2 Pound (3 Cups)
 Egg yolks4 Large
 Ground nutmeg1⁄2 Teaspoon
 Freshly grated parmigiano reggiano cheese3⁄4 Cup (12 tbs)

Nutrition Facts

Serving size

Calories 964 Calories from Fat 504

% Daily Value*

Total Fat 58 g88.8%

Saturated Fat 25.3 g126.4%

Trans Fat 0 g

Cholesterol 278.3 mg

Sodium 495.7 mg20.7%

Total Carbohydrates 67 g22.3%

Dietary Fiber 9 g35.9%

Sugars 9 g

Protein 50 g99.8%

Vitamin A 14.2% Vitamin C 3.8%

Calcium 29.3% Iron 24.1%

*Based on a 2000 Calorie diet


1. Preheat the oven to 350°. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. In a large saucepan, heat the olive oil until shimmering. Add the lamb, onion, oregano, cinnamon, cloves and a generous pinch each of salt and pepper. Cook over high heat, stirring frequently, until the lamb is no longer pink and any liquid has evaporated, about 8 minutes. Add the marinara sauce and bring to a boil. Boil over high heat, stirring occasionally, until the sauce has reduced slightly, about 5 minutes.
2. Cook the pasta until barely al dente; drain and return to the pot. Meanwhile, in a blender, blend 2 cups of the ricotta with the yolks, nutmeg and 1/2 cup of the Parmigiano-Reggiano until smooth. Season with salt and pepper. Pulse in the remaining ricotta.
3. Add the lamb ragù to the pasta and toss. Transfer the pasta to a 9-by-13-inch baking dish. Pour the ricotta mixture on top and sprinkle with the remaining 1/4 cup of Parmigiano-Reggiano. Bake in the center of the oven for about 20 minutes, until heated through. Turn the broiler on and broil until the top is golden brown. Let stand for a few minutes before serving.

The baked pasta can be covered and refrigerated for up to 2 days. Serve hot.