Ma’Carona Bil Bechamel – Pasta And Bechamel Bake Recipe

RatingDifficultyBeginner

This pasta bake with bechamel sauce is exquisite. It has three layers and the perfect amount of flavor and texture for the perfect bite.

Yields1 Serving
Prep Time10 minsCook Time1 hr 30 minsTotal Time1 hr 40 mins
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FOR THE MINCED MEAT
 100 g Minced meat (beef, lean)
 ¼ Onions
  Garlic cloves
 ¼ tsp Arabic mixed spice (or All Spice)
  tbsp Parsley (chopped)
  tsp Olive oil
  tsp Red chili (flakes, optional)
  tsp Cardamom (powder)
  tsp Cinnamon (powder)
  tbsp Tomato paste
 ¼ cup Strained tomatoes
 ¼ cup Water
FOR THE PASTA
 100 g Pasta (penne, spaghetti, fettuccine or fusilli)
  tsp Salt
 ¼ tbsp Olive oil
 Water
FOR THE BECHAMEL
 2 ¾ tbsp Butter (unsalted, melted)
 2 ¾ tbsp All purpose flour (white)
 1 ⅞ cup Milk (full fat)
 ¼ tsp Salt
  tsp Black pepper
  tsp Nutmeg (powder، optional)


1

We start by preparing the minced meat and tomato sauce. In a pot or a deep pan, fry the chopped onion in olive oil on high heat until slightly golden. Then add the crushed garlic and continue to fry until the aromas are released.

2

With the heat still on high, add the minced meat and keep stirring until the meat starts to release its water. Then add the spices and mix well until the meat is cooked, but not dry.

3

Add the strained tomato, tomato paste and water. Mix and let it come to a boil on high heat, then lower to medium and let it continue to cook while simmering for 5 to 7 minutes. Don’t cover the pot as the sauce needs to thicken. Once done, turn off the heat and add the chopped parsley.

4

Now for the pasta. Fill a pot with water (enough to cover the pasta) and bring it to a boil. Add the salt and olive oil, mix then add the pasta. Keep boiling on high, uncovered, until the pasta is cooked. Once done, pour the pasta into a strainer and run some cold water through it. Don’t let the pasta get too soft as it will continue to cook later in the oven.

5

While the pasta is boiling, start with the bechamel sauce. Put the melted butter in a pan on high heat. Once the butter is hot, add the flour and quickly mix it together until there are no lumps. Now lower the heat to medium and keep mixing until the mixture starts to release its aromas (you don’t want it to burn).

6

Now lower the heat a bit and add the milk to the mixture, a half a cup at a time, and keep whisking quickly to make sure the mixture stays smooth and you avoid creating lumps. You’ll see that when you add milk the mixture becomes liquidy, and as you whisk it thickens up again, which means it’s time to add more milk. Repeat until all the milk is added (a half cup at a time) and you have a smooth consistency. Then stir in the salt, pepper and nutmeg. It does take a while to make bechamel sauce, so be patient…

7

In a bowl, add 1/3 of bechamel sauce to the pasta and mix well to get the sauce all over.

8

Now it’s time to layer and cook. Start by preheating the oven to 180C. Put half of the bechamel and pasta mixture in an oven safe dish and layer on top with all the meat and tomato sauce. Add the remaining pasta on top and pour over it the rest of the bechamel sauce. If you want, sprinkle on top some grated mozzarella and parmesan. Put the dish in the oven to cook uncovered for about 20-25 minutes, then put it on broil for 5 to 10 minutes to brown on top – we like to add some chopped parsley at the end.

Ingredients

FOR THE MINCED MEAT
 100 g Minced meat (beef, lean)
 ¼ Onions
  Garlic cloves
 ¼ tsp Arabic mixed spice (or All Spice)
  tbsp Parsley (chopped)
  tsp Olive oil
  tsp Red chili (flakes, optional)
  tsp Cardamom (powder)
  tsp Cinnamon (powder)
  tbsp Tomato paste
 ¼ cup Strained tomatoes
 ¼ cup Water
FOR THE PASTA
 100 g Pasta (penne, spaghetti, fettuccine or fusilli)
  tsp Salt
 ¼ tbsp Olive oil
 Water
FOR THE BECHAMEL
 2 ¾ tbsp Butter (unsalted, melted)
 2 ¾ tbsp All purpose flour (white)
 1 ⅞ cup Milk (full fat)
 ¼ tsp Salt
  tsp Black pepper
  tsp Nutmeg (powder، optional)

Directions

1

We start by preparing the minced meat and tomato sauce. In a pot or a deep pan, fry the chopped onion in olive oil on high heat until slightly golden. Then add the crushed garlic and continue to fry until the aromas are released.

2

With the heat still on high, add the minced meat and keep stirring until the meat starts to release its water. Then add the spices and mix well until the meat is cooked, but not dry.

3

Add the strained tomato, tomato paste and water. Mix and let it come to a boil on high heat, then lower to medium and let it continue to cook while simmering for 5 to 7 minutes. Don’t cover the pot as the sauce needs to thicken. Once done, turn off the heat and add the chopped parsley.

4

Now for the pasta. Fill a pot with water (enough to cover the pasta) and bring it to a boil. Add the salt and olive oil, mix then add the pasta. Keep boiling on high, uncovered, until the pasta is cooked. Once done, pour the pasta into a strainer and run some cold water through it. Don’t let the pasta get too soft as it will continue to cook later in the oven.

5

While the pasta is boiling, start with the bechamel sauce. Put the melted butter in a pan on high heat. Once the butter is hot, add the flour and quickly mix it together until there are no lumps. Now lower the heat to medium and keep mixing until the mixture starts to release its aromas (you don’t want it to burn).

6

Now lower the heat a bit and add the milk to the mixture, a half a cup at a time, and keep whisking quickly to make sure the mixture stays smooth and you avoid creating lumps. You’ll see that when you add milk the mixture becomes liquidy, and as you whisk it thickens up again, which means it’s time to add more milk. Repeat until all the milk is added (a half cup at a time) and you have a smooth consistency. Then stir in the salt, pepper and nutmeg. It does take a while to make bechamel sauce, so be patient…

7

In a bowl, add 1/3 of bechamel sauce to the pasta and mix well to get the sauce all over.

8

Now it’s time to layer and cook. Start by preheating the oven to 180C. Put half of the bechamel and pasta mixture in an oven safe dish and layer on top with all the meat and tomato sauce. Add the remaining pasta on top and pour over it the rest of the bechamel sauce. If you want, sprinkle on top some grated mozzarella and parmesan. Put the dish in the oven to cook uncovered for about 20-25 minutes, then put it on broil for 5 to 10 minutes to brown on top – we like to add some chopped parsley at the end.

Ma’Carona Bil Bechamel – Pasta And Bechamel Bake Recipe

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