This recipe is a little tricky, but considering it comes STRAIGHT from the yiayia archives, you should know it's gonna be so bloody worth it when it all comes together! 


Yiayia's Pastitsio

500g lean beef mince
250g penne pasta
400g can of chopped/crushed tomatoes
1/4 cup of red wine
1 tbsp tomato paste
1 onion, finely diced
2 garlic cloves, crushed
1 tbsp dried oregano
1 tbsp rosemary, finely chopped
2 whole cloves 
1 tsp all spice
1 bay leaf
1 cinnamon stick
2 tbsp olive oil
pinch of salt
pinch of pepper

Béchamel Sauce:
3/4 cup of plain flour
3/4 cup of butter
750mL of warm milk
1 & 1/2 cups of Keflagraviera cheese or parmesan cheese
1/4 tsp nutmeg
2 eggs



  1. Pre-heat oven to 200 degrees Celsius.


  1. Boil pasta in a pot of salted, boiling water and cook until al dente.
  2. After straining the pasta, add the pasta to a separate bowl with the olive oil and leave to cool.

Meat Sauce:

  1. Add mince to a hot non-stick pan and sauté until excess water evaporates and mince is browned. Add onion, red wine, garlic, oregano, rosemary, cloves, all spice and cook for 5 minutes. 
  2. Add tomato paste, bay leaf, cinnamon stick and chopped tomatoes.
  3. Reduce heat to low and let the meat simmer for 1 hour. 
  4. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Béchamel Sauce:

  1. Melt butter in a separate sauce pan and add flour and stir for roughly 2 minutes then remove the pan from the heat.
  2. Now slowly add milk to the mixture and continue to stir until mixture is smooth and thick. Top with a lid and let the sauce cool for 10 minutes.
  3. Add beaten eggs and half of the cheese to the mixture. 


  1. Oil your casserole dish, layer the bottom of your dish with pasta and cheese. 
  2. Cover with meat sauce and then add the béchamel sauce to top.
  3. Bake in an oven for 45 minutes, uncovered until golden brown.