Freezer Pastitsio

I made this pasta dish back in November to prepare for Carson’s arrival.  We had so many generous people bringing us meals for the first month, then we went home for Christmas, so I hadn’t had an opportunity to make one of my freezer meals until last month.  If I had really been thinking, and if I’d bought more small baking pans, I would have divided this recipe between 2 pans so that we wouldn’t be stuck eating this huge casserole all week!  This pastitsio recipe makes an incredible amount of food.   I think it would feed at least 10 people.  Here is the link to the recipe.

I made some changes, some of which I wish I hadn’t.  Sometimes you can get away with taking liberties with a recipe, but sometimes you can’t.  It’s probably wise to make it the way it’s supposed to be made the first time.  Lesson learned.

When I consider the ingredient list and the way my house smelled while making this dish, I would have expected this to be crazy good.  But Ben and I both found it to be missing something…it was a little bland.  I left out the red wine…mistake.  It would have added some nice flavor.  I skimped on the butter and milk in the pasta mixture, but that didn’t seem to make the pasta less flavorful or too dry.  Since my pan wasn’t big enough, I couldn’t add all of the bechamel sauce…maybe that was part of the problem?  I’d also use Kalamata olives next time.

The pastitsio was good, just not the best.  I would try it again, making a half recipe and being more true to the original ingredients.  If you make a full pan and plan to freeze it, make sure to give the casserole at least a full 24 hours to thaw in the fridge.  Bake at 350 covered for about an hour, and uncovered for 30 minutes.  With a half recipe, I’d still use the long thaw time, and bake a little less.  More freezer meal updates to come!