From my mother-in-law Elaine, her notes in italics
The Pasticcio is made in four stages: Meat/tomato sauce, macaroni preparation, and white sauce or bechamel sauce preparation, and assembly and baking. It is time consuming if you try to do it all in one day and it takes lots of pots. I usually make the meat sauce either a day or two prior to baking the finished product of even a week a two ahead and freeze it until needed. On Easter Sunday morning before I prepare the lamb, I will make the white sauce for the top add cheeses and pats of butter and bake at 350 degrees in a preheated oven for about an hour or so. When the top is puffed and golden it is done and then can rest for an hour or two prior to cutting in squares and serving. You will need a deep pan like a lasagnia pan for baking the pasticcio. One book suggests 10 x 14 x 2 inches but I think you can use even a 3 inch deep pan if you have one.
1 lb. Greek Macaroni or Number 6 Prince Macaroni or Pastene Regine 10 Macaroni
1/2 lb. Grated Parmagiano Reggiano Cheese (Imported Italian)
1/2 lb. Grated Greek Kefalotiri Cheese or, if unavailable, Italian Romano Cheese or Greek Mizithra Cheese
Grated fresh nutmeg to taste
1 to 2 tbsp. unsalted butter for greasing baking pan
One batch GREEK MEAT/TOMATO SAUCE
6 heaping tbsp. flour
6 tbsp. unsalted butter
3 cups whole milk
6 slightly beaten eggs
If you want a thicker topping, you can increase flour and butter to 8
tablespoons each and add 4 cups of milk for the white sauce. Rest of
instructions would be the same.
Use a large 8 quart pot of boiling salted water for the pasta.
Place macaroni in boiling salted water, stir and cook until partially
done or al dente following package directions.
Take a piece out of the water and test it. Do not overcook because it
will finish cooking in baking pan when the pasticcio is baked. Remove pot
from heat. Drain macaroni well in a colander in sink and return to pot.
Heat should be off at this point. Sprinkle in two grated cheeses to
taste, about 3/4 of a cup of each cheese. Grate nutmeg to taste into pot
and stir all with wooden spoon. Crack eggs into pot quickly one at a
time and stir in after each addition. Macaroni will be warm and eggs
will seem to cook somewhat but don't worry about it.
Assembly of Pasticcio:
Heat meat sauce if made ahead. Butter baking pan with some of the butter and lay in a couple of large spoonfuls of the meat
sauce. Then take half of the macaroni mixture and layer on top of the meat sauce smoothing it out and adding sprinklings of both types of grated cheese. Add more meat sauce and cheeses. Layer rest of macaroni on top of sauce and add more of the cheeses. Finally, layer rest of meat
sauce and sprinkle more of the cheeses on top of sauce. Smooth with spoon.
At this point, pan can be covered with plastic wrap and refrigerated for baking the next day.Macaroni mixture should be removed from the refrigerator about an hour prior to making the white sauce so it can come to room temperature.
White Sauce Preparation and Baking:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Melt butter in 3 quart heavy stainless steel saucepan. Add flour and
mix together with butter using a wire whisk in order to make a rue. Cook
for a few minutes over medium high heat to make sure flour looses it's
raw taste. Slowly add milk and keep stirring so no lumps will form.
Keep stirring and add white pepper to taste and grated nutmeg to taste.
Stir until mixture comes to a full rolling boil. Must stay on top of
this, stirring so sauce will not burn on the bottom. Remove from heat.
In the bowl with the slightly beaten eggs, begin slowly adding ladlefuls
of the white sauce in order to temper the eggs.(May need someone to hold
bowl while you are doing this.) Keep adding and stirring until eggs have
melded with the white sauce and will not curdle. Then return all of this
mixture into the rest of the white sauce that is in the saucepan. Place
on heat very briefly and stir until thick and smooth. Remove from heat.
When sauce is ready, using a large spoon, spread it on top of the
macaroni in baking pan and smooth as much as possible. Cover all surface
of meat sauce with the white or bechamel sauce. Sprinkle more of the two
cheeses on top of the white sauce and dot small slivers of the unsalted
butter all over the surface of it.
Place in preheated oven and bake for about an hour and 15 minutes
depending on the oven. Keep checking. Pasticcio is done when it is
puffed and golden. Cool for 20 or 25 minutes, slice in squares, remove
with a spatula and serve. Or cover with aluminum foil and cut a little
later. Can wait for an hour or so prior to serving. Will stay warm for a
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