Make-Ahead Pastitsio

Make-Ahead Pastitsio
Prep Time:
30 mins
Freeze Time:
0 mins
Bake Time:
45 mins
Stand Time:
10 mins
Total Time:
30 mins


  • 6 ounce dried cavatappi or penne pasta

  • 2 cup Ground Beef Base

  • 1 ½ cup Tomato Base

  • ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon

  • ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg

  • ¼ teaspoon fennel seeds, crushed

  • 1 ½ cup shredded Kasseri cheese or Parmesan cheese (6 ounces)

  • 1 egg, lightly beaten

  • 1 15 ounce jar Alfredo pasta sauce

Ground Beef Base

  • 4 pound ground beef

  • 1 ½ cup chopped onions (3 medium)

  • 1 cup chopped carrots (2 medium)

  • ½ cup chopped celery (1 stalk)

  • 4 cloves garlic, minced

  • 1 teaspoon salt

  • ½ teaspoon ground black pepper

Tomato Base

  • 2 tablespoon olive oil

  • 5 cloves garlic, minced

  • ¼ teaspoon crushed red pepper

  • 2 28-ounce cans diced tomatoes, undrained

  • ½ cup dry red wine

  • cup tomato paste

  • 2 teaspoon packed brown sugar

  • 1 teaspoon salt


  1. Cook pasta according to package directions; drain. Rinse with cold water until cool; drain again. In a large bowl combine cooked pasta, Ground Beef Base, Tomato Base, cinnamon, nutmeg, and fennel seeds. Stir in 1/2 cup of the cheese. Divide mixture among eight 8-ounce ramekins or individual casseroles, or spread in one 2-quart square baking dish.

  2. In a medium bowl combine egg, Alfredo sauce, and the remaining 1 cup cheese. Spread sauce mixture over pasta mixture. If using ramekins, place in a baking pan and freeze until firm. Cover casserole(s) with plastic wrap, then with foil. Place in a resealable freezer bag or a freezer container. Seal and freeze for up to 3 months.

  3. To serve, thaw in the refrigerator overnight (casserole[s] may still be a bit icy).

  4. Preheat oven to 350°F. Remove foil and plastic wrap. If using ramekins, place on a baking sheet. Bake ramekins about 45 minutes, baking dish about 1 1/4 hours, or until heated through. Let stand for 10 to 15 minutes before serving.

Ground Beef Base

  1. In a 5- to 6-quart Dutch oven cook ground beef, onions, carrots, celery, and garlic over medium heat until meat is browned, using a wooden spoon to break up meat as it cooks. Drain off fat. Stir in salt and pepper.

Tomato Base

  1. In a large saucepan heat oil over medium heat. Add garlic and crushed red pepper; cook and stir for 3 to 4 minutes or until garlic is golden. Carefully add tomatoes, wine, tomato paste, brown sugar, and salt.

  2. Bring to boiling; reduce heat. Simmer, uncovered, for 30 for 40 minutes or until slightly thickened and reduced by about one-third, stirring occasionally. (You should have about 5 1/2 cups.)

Nutrition Facts (per serving)

388 Calories
23g Fat
24g Carbs
19g Protein
Nutrition Facts
Servings Per Recipe 8
Calories 388
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 23g 29%
Saturated Fat 12g 60%
Cholesterol 122mg 41%
Sodium 922mg 40%
Total Carbohydrate 24g 9%
Total Sugars 4g
Protein 19g
Vitamin C 9.7mg 48%
Calcium 227mg 17%
Iron 2mg 11%
Potassium 378mg 8%
Folate, total 58.1mcg
Vitamin B-12 0.8mcg
Vitamin B-6 0.2mg

*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.

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