Saturday, 2 December 2017

Macaroni Bechamel (Egyptian pasta dish)

Who doesn't love pasta? This Egyptian pasta dish has a layer of pasta mixed with deliciously flavoured minced meat, topped with creamy bechamel sauce and a crispy breadcrumb layer to top it off. Straight forward and so satisfying.

  • Skill level: Easy
  • Serves: 5-7 people
  • Preparation time: 15 mins
  • Cooking time: 35-45 mins

What you will need:

2 onions, peeled and chopped
5 garlic cloves, peeled and minced
1 tbsp olive oil
300g minced meat
1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp black pepper
1/2 tsp cinnamon powder
1 can (400ml) chopped tomato
500g pasta (I used ditali)
1 tsp salt
handful of parlsey, chopped
1 tsp dried thyme
6 tbsp butter
6 tbsp flour
3 cups milk (add more or less according to the consistency you want)
1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp black pepper
less than 1/4 tsp of ground nutmeg
breadcrumbs (a recommended option)
a few tsps of butter

How to make it:

1) In a pot, heat the olive oil over medium heat, add the onions and sauté until soft. Add the garlic and mix for a few minutes

2) Add the minced meat, and cook until browned

3) Add the salt, black pepper and cinnamon. Add the chopped tomato, mix and let it cook for 10 mins

4) In the meantime, cook your pasta by filling your pot with boiling water, add the salt and place your pasta. Cook according to packet instructions, or for at least 7 mins until just cooked (not too soft). Drain and set aside

5) Back to our sauce, add the parsley and thyme. Mix, taste and adjust the seasoning. Set aside

6) Make the bechamel sauce by melting the butter over medium heat in a separate pot. Once melted add the flour and mix well until all lumps are removed for a few mins

7) Gradually add the milk, a cup at a time, mixing and incorporating it before adding more. Add the salt, black pepper and nutmeg. Mix until it starts to thicken. It should coat the back of a spoon, whereby if you drew a line on the spoon it keeps its shape. Turn off the heat

8) To assemble, add the drained pasta into your oven roasting dish. Add the meat mixture and mix well with the pasta. Top with the bechamel sauce. Top with breadcrumbs. Scatter a few knobs of butter 

9) Place into a hot oven for 20-25 mins on 180 degrees Celsius, then place the dish onto the grill/broiler and brown the top layer for a few mins. Leave it to rest for 10 mins before serving

It is a good change from your standard pasta dishes. Full of flavour and guaranteed to ensure every member of the family enjoys it. Enjoy :)


  1. This pasta looks pretty yummy and I'm glad you shared the recipe with us. It doesn't look that time consuming so I guess I'll give it a try on the weekend.

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