Every Greek cookbook has a recipe for pastitsio, a layered casserole consisting of ground meat, tomato sauce, pasta, a creamy béchamel, and a sprinkling of cheese. When well prepared, it is comfort food at its best.
Why This Recipe Works
We began our pastitsio recipe by cooking ground lamb and draining the excess fat before adding the other ingredients, to prevent a greasy result. For the spices for our pastitsio recipe, we settled on a simple combination of cinnamon, oregano, and nutmeg. We turned to tomato paste, which provided the perfect backbone of flavor and helped thicken the meat sauce slightly and rounded out the flavors. Smaller elbow macaroni allowed multi-flavored bites with every spoonful. In lieu of preparing the béchamel sauce separately, we simply finished the dish with a quick replication: more heavy cream thickened with cornstarch.