Greek Festival Returns to Altoona This Weekend!

By Dawn Pellas

Published 09/02 2014 03:36PM

Updated 09/02 2014 06:03PM

Opa!  It’s time for the Annual Greek Festival in Altoona!

The Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Church (1433 13th Avenue, Altoona) will be hosting the event Saturday, September 6, 2014 from 11:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m.

The event features Greek Dancing, Church Tours, and delicious Greek food, including Lamb and Chicken Souvlaki, Pastitso, Moussaka, Kourabiethes, Koulouraki, Gyros, Baklava, Greek Salad and hot dogs and French fries for the kids.

On today's show, Rita Casanave stops by with some sweet Greek desserts! 

Feel like bringing a little bit of Greece into your kitchen? How about a main course to go with dessert?  Try Rita’s recipe for Pastitso!

Pastitso Recipe

Ingredients: 2 lb ground beef, 6 tablespoons salted butter, 2 large onions (finely chopped), 2 teaspoons salt, ¼ teaspoon pepper, ¼ cup tomato sauce, a dash of cinnamon, 1 lb perciatelli pasta, 3 cups Romano Cheese, dozen eggs, 1 quart milk (2% or Vitamin D), 1 can of seasoned bread crumbs. Makes one (1) 11x14 pan.

Beef/Pasta Layers:

Mix 4 tablespoons of butter, onions, salt, pepper, cinnamon, tomato sauce, and ground beef in a frying pan, sauté, and simmer until all juices are absorbed.

Boil (in salted water) the pasta until Al Dente, then mix with 2 tablespoons of melted butter until all pasta is coated.

Brush 11"x14" baking pan with butter, sprinkle bread crumbs and some Romano Cheese on bottom of pan.

Layer the pan with ½ of the pasta, then sprinkle pasta layer with more Romano Cheese.

Layer the ground beef mix on top of the pasta, spreading evenly.

Sprinkle remaining cheese, then cover with remaining pasta.

Press down on whole thing with wax paper to firm up the layers and even out the top.

Cut diagonal slits from the top to bottom of pan (so egg topping can soak in). Set aside.

Egg Topping:

Beat eggs until fluffy and firm (using a mixer helps achieve uniformity)

Mix 1 qt milk into eggs.

Spoon milk/egg topping into the knifed slits, until body of pasta/beef layering is moistened. This helps hold things together.

Spread the remaining egg topping evenly over the top of the pasta/beef layering.

Place pastitso tray into preheated oven at 350⁰ F, bake for an hour until top is lightly browned and firm (test firmness with knife).

Let stand 15 minutes before cutting into pieces. Cooking time may vary depending on oven.

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