This is an Egyptian favorite. A ground meat mixture between two layers of macaroni smothered in a creamy bachamel sauce. You can use any type of pasta you like. The most common are Penne (which is my favorite) angel hair, spaghetti or elbow macaroni. I have a glass dish that is 8x11 and I prefer to bake in this dish because I like it to be a little thick, but if you like it to be a little thinner than that you can opt for the larger 9x13.
- 1 (16 ounce) box penne pasta
- 2 lbs ground beef
- 1 medium onion, chopped
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
- 1 tablespoon fresh thyme
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1 (8 ounce) can tomato sauce
- 1 beaten egg
- 1 dash parmesan cheese (optional)
- 8 cups cold milk
- 6 tablespoons butter
- 6 tablespoons flour
- 1 teaspoon fresh thyme
- 1⁄2 teaspoon nutmeg (optional)
- 2 beaten eggs
- white pepper
- black pepper
- Prepare pasta according to directions on the box.
- Saute the onion in a little oil over med high heat until soft. Add garlic and saute another 2 minutes.
- Add the ground beef and brown.
- Drain off the fat, return to the stove and add the parsley, thyme, and cinnamon until combined.
- Stir in the can of tomato sauce and simmer over low heat about 10 minutes.
- Remove from the heat and let it cool. Once it has cooled stir in the beaten egg. Set aside.
- TO MAKE THE BACHAMEL SAUCE: In a large saucepan over med-high heat melt the butter. Once melted whisk in the flour until smooth. Keep whisking for 2 minute.
- Now whisk in the milk slowly until all the milk has been added. Keep whisking making sure there are no lumps in it. Add the salt and white and black peppers to your taste.
- Whisk pretty continuously until the milk is almost boiling, but not quite. Now whisk in the thyme and nutmeg (if you want it). The sauce should now be fairly thick.
- Quickly whisk in the beaten eggs. Remove from heat.
- TO ASSEMBLE THE DISH: Mix half the bachamel mixture into the pasta.
- Put half the pasta covered with the sauce into a 9x13 baking dish.
- Now layer the entire meat mixture over the pasta. You can top with a sprinkling on Parmesan cheese if you like.
- Now add the rest of the Pasta to form the top layer.
- Finally, pour and spread the remaining bachamel sauce over the top of the last layer.
- Bake it in the oven at 400 degrees for 45-60 min or until the top is golden brown.
This recipe turned out really well. The spices combine nicely and the bechamel gives the dish just the right amount of richness. I did change a few things when making the bechamel, though. I used 5tbs of butter and only 4 cups of milk. It came out nice and thick. I will definitely make this again.
This was my first attempt and it turned out good. I made this for dinner today and my family loved it. I made bechamel sauce with the Maggi Bechamel sauce powder. I had some grated cheddar cheese and mozarella cheese. So, I lighty sprinkled then on the pasta and it tasted yummy. Thanks for this wonderful recipe. :)
This was the first time that I ATTEMPTED to make this with a success. I didnt have nutmeg for the bechamel, the way my mother always makes it, so i took a sprig of sage and just left it in the bechamel & took it out when it was finished cooking. I thank you, as an american egyptian with lack of heritage cooking, I was able to impress my husband, lol.