(Pasticho Venezolano) Creamy Venezuelan-Style Lasagna

Diana Miller/Getty Images
Prep: 60 mins
Cook: 45 mins
Total: 105 mins
Servings: 6 to 8 servings
Yield: 1 lasagna
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
706 Calories
40g Fat
47g Carbs
38g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 6 to 8
Amount per serving
Calories 706
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 40g 51%
Saturated Fat 20g 100%
Cholesterol 131mg 44%
Sodium 1056mg 46%
Total Carbohydrate 47g 17%
Dietary Fiber 4g 13%
Total Sugars 16g
Protein 38g
Vitamin C 14mg 71%
Calcium 532mg 41%
Iron 5mg 30%
Potassium 998mg 21%
*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.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

Pasticho is a delicious version of lasagna that is very popular in Venezuela. Its origins come from the Mediterranean, where a similar dish called pastitsio is made with tubular pasta and lots of creamy béchamel sauce. In Venezuela, pasticho is prepared with regular lasagna noodles layered alternately with a tomato-based meat sauce and béchamel sauce, with cheese and sometimes ham interspersed within the layers. It requires an extra cooking step, but it's well worth it.


  • 1 pound lasagna noodles

For the Red Sauce :

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil

  • 1 large onion, chopped

  • 3 cloves garlic, minced

  • 1 pound ground beef

  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce

  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce

  • 1 (28-ounce) can stewed tomatoes

  • 1 (6-ounce) can tomato paste

  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano

  • 1 teaspoon dried basil

  • 1 bay leaf

  • 1 tablespoon sugar

  • 1/2 cup red wine, or beef stock

For the Béchamel Sauce:

  • 1/2 cup (4 ounces) unsalted butter

  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour

  • 4 1/2 cups milk

  • Salt, to taste

  • Freshly ground black pepper, to taste

  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese

  • 10 ounces mozzarella cheese, grated

  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese

  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg, optional

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

  2. Preheat oven to 350 F.

  3. Cook the lasagna noodles according to package directions. Drain, rinse with cool water and set aside.

Make the Red Sauce

  1. Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in a large skillet or stockpot. Add onions and garlic, and cook over low-medium heat until soft and fragrant.

  2. Add ground beef, soy sauce, and Worcestershire sauce and cook, stirring, until meat is well-browned.

  3. Add stewed tomatoes, tomato paste, oregano, basil, bay leaf, sugar, and red wine or stock. Simmer over very low heat until sauce thickens and develops a rich flavor, about 30 to 45 minutes. Taste for seasoning, and season with salt and pepper to taste.

  4. While the red sauce is simmering, prepare the béchamel sauce: Place the butter in a heavy saucepan, and melt it over medium-low heat. Whisk in the flour, and cook until butter/flour mixture is bubbly.

  5. Whisk the milk into the butter/flour mixture, and cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until sauce thickens. Add salt, nutmeg (optional) and Parmesan cheese, and stir until smooth. Taste for seasoning, and season with salt and pepper to taste.

Assemble Pasticho

  1. Spread a thin layer of béchamel sauce on the bottom of a 9 x 13-inch baking pan. Cover with a layer of lasagna noodles.

  2. Cover the noodles with a layer of one-third of the meat sauce.

  3. Top meat sauce with another layer of noodles. Spread another, thicker layer of béchamel sauce (about 1 cup) on top of the noodles then sprinkle 1/3 of the mozzarella cheese and a couple of tablespoons of Parmesan cheese over the béchamel.

  4. Repeat with another meat sauce layer then another béchamel and cheese layer. Repeat with one more meat sauce layer; top with a final layer of noodles then spread the remaining béchamel over the noodles, and sprinkle remaining mozzarella and Parmesan cheese over the top.

  5. Cover the lasagna with a piece of foil and bake, covered, for 30 minutes. Remove foil, and continue to bake until cheese is melted and lasagna is heated through and bubbly. Let cool for 5 to 10 minutes before serving.