Pragmatic Pastitsio and a Food Event

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Late last year, my friend Tony from Olive Juice contacted me and told that he is hosting a food event called “Taste of the Mediterranean. It’s a food blogging event sponsored by and each month, a journey and celebration of each dish takes place, focusing on a popular dish from that from each of the regions of the Mediterranean.

Tony asked me if I would be a part of the panel for judging the dishes each month and I immediately said yes. It’s always been my goal to promote Greek food and this just the event to do it!

Last month it was “focus France”, and February it’s fabulous Greece. You can visit Tony’s site here to read the itinerary of this culinary tour around the Mediterranean basin. Having said that, do you fancy a trip around the Mediterranean? This month join us in Greece where we showcase the very popular dish called Pastitsio.

Pastitsio is Greece’s answer to lasagna where the traditional recipe is assembled using tubular pasta known as Makaronia #2 (bucatini), ground mince and a topping of Bechamel sauce.

There are many takes on Pastitsio around Greece, nutmeg being the prevalent spice in the Bechamel and any one or a or a combination of bay, clove, allspice and cinnamon are employed (in the mince) to kick up this favourite.

Be it Greek or non-Greek, eaten at a Greek restaurant or at your Greek friend’s home, one will find a slab of Pastitsio being served by your most hospitable Greek host or hostess.

Part of being Greek is being tolerant, pragmatic, inclusive. Melina Mercouri once described Athens like a mother, ever stretching her arms to embrace yet another child.

THAT’s the way of Greeks, our spirit…our love of people, family and friends and being the most gracious host(esses) to our guests.

There are many approaches you can take to Pastitsio. Tony has just offered uphis take here. I too have posted a Pastitsio recipe and you have have a peek at my version here.

The Pastitsio canvass is wide open. Do you have a desire for the classic Pastitsio with ground meat, pasta and Bechamel? Perhaps you want to make a vegetarian Pastitsio? Are you in the mood for a Seafood Pastitsio? A Lenten Pastitsio or one with legumes?

There’s more…ever thought of a Dessert Pastitsio? The possibilities are endless. Celebrate Greek food and try your hand at Pastitsio. Be imaginative with the ingredients, the spices, the construction. I only ask that you have fun in the kitchen, enter the event with verve and celebrate Greek food and all Mediterranean food this month and in the coming months.

Each month, a winner will be selected by way of a vote from our distinguished panel. Your dish’s entry earns you a chance to win a $50 gift certificate from What are you waiting for? Get in the kitchen and get cookin’!

Simply cook up your version of Pastitsio, take photos, relate the thought-process to your dish and blog it by February 28th. Link back to Tony’s Taste of Mediterranean page and you can even use the logo!

P.S. I encourage my readers from Greece (and abroad) to participate as well. Feel free to offer up a dish in Greek or any other language you are most comfortable in communicating.

If you are not reading this post in a feed reader or at then the site you are reading is illegally publishing copyrighted material. Contact me at truenorth67 AT gmail DOT COM. All recipes, text and photographs in this post are the original creations & property of the author.
© 2007-2009 Peter Minakis

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Peter Minakis

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56 Comments for “Pragmatic Pastitsio and a Food Event”

Peter G


Let me be the first to comment…ooohh! I can’t wait for this! Now I can be free to MIX my pasta and sauce and still call it PASTITSIO! I think I will do a vegie version!



I have never made pastitsio, but it certainly looks beyond delicious. Looks like it would involve a few extra miles on the treadmill.

Katherine Aucoin


I t will be interesting to see what all of the creative minds come up with. Tough job for you having to judge ;-)



I have only made it once, but loved it, so this sounds like tasty fun. I’ll see if I can keep my wits about me long enough to put something up this week!



That sounds like fun Peter. Good luck with that! I bet you’ll be making a lot of them with your own twist later on.

Bellini Valli


I have made pastitsio but never had the opportunity to try it in Greece itself or at the foot of a Greek Ya Ya. I

Antonio Tahhan


Awesome post Peter!! I was nervous to see if my pastitsio would get your Greek approval :)
I can’t wait to see all the different variations!
thanks for being a part of this – you rock!

Joie de vivre


I’ve wanted to try this ever since I saw your post on Pastitsio. Thanks for posting about the event. It sounds like fun!



hunka hunka burnin’ pastitsio. man, that looks good. perfect, actually. pragmatic and perfect pastitsio.

The Short (dis)Order Cook


Your classic version looks like a winner to me. I’d have to make the Sir Pickypants version – with turkey!



I made pastitsio last year, and it is rich and wonderful. Yours looks splendid, of course, doubtless from a lifetime of experience.



You’ve given me some great ideas for a veggie Pastitsio as my daughter-in-law is a vegetarian and will be visiting me for 10 days or so next month. Thanks Peter and your pics look so yummy!!

Cathy - wheresmydamnanswer


When I was in Greece many moons ago this was one of my favorite dishes!! I have not tried to make it at home… YET!!



How fun, Peter! I’ll have to see if I can make some pastitsio in the coming weeks. I am out of cheese (the horror!) and going to the greek market is kind of a pain without a car.



Oh I wish I knew about this before.. I am so out of time this month. I’ll try…

probably next month?

[eatingclub] vancouver || js


Ooh, pastitsio! Haven’t tried making this before, but seeing this makes me want to try. And it’s been too long since we’ve had Greek food.

So we’re probably going to try our hand at this pastitsio and so glad to hear that you’ll accept pastitsio, even made by a non-Greek.



Seems like down to earth dish. I never made something like this before. Maybe I should give it a try.



Pastitsio is soooo yummy I could eat it every day!
I can cook up a right nice Pastitsio too! (If I do say so myself) LOL
Which is reminding me I haven’t made it for a while.

joanne at frutto della passione


Every time I come here I learn something new. I am always more and more amazed at the similarity between certain dishes in our two cultures. Pasticcio is a regular at my house, different spices but it sure is similar to this! I’ll definitely check out ATOM!



I remember loving your original version of this Peter. I haven’t got around to trying it yet, although it has been at the back of my mind. Maybe this is the push I need :)



I’d fancy a trip around the Meditteranean! And I’d also fancy having some of this Pastitsio! (It’s fun to say, isn’t it?) :-) Good luck and have fun with the judging!


My dear Peter,
first of all, welcome in your brand new site !!!
What a wonderfull event, παω τρεχοντας να διαβασω περισοτερα !
Φιλια !


Your blog does look stunning :-) du bon travail mon ami!
I have been having dreams about pastitsio lately… with ground lamb and silky béchamelle. Miam miam. Does it reheat well?


Excellent job Peter!
I tried to subscribe but I was unsucceful. I received the following message:

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So very cool. I think pastitsio is one of the under-appreciated dishes of Greece–at least here in the US. I made what I call a “moustatitsio” back in October–a cross between a moussaka and pastitsio–with braised lamb instead of ground lamb. It was gorgeous. I might just have to cook some up again for this pragmatic pastitsio event!

Congrats on the new site, Peter!



I am new into the blogging world. My blog is about indian food. when i read about this pastitsio post I wanted to make this dish with an indian twist. Can I enter my pastitsio in this event or is this event only open for dishes with the mediterranean touch?