A favorite Egyptian baked pasta recipe, that is layered with spiced beef, cooked penne pasta, topped with a creamy bèchamel sauce!
We grew up eating Macarona Bechamel (مكرونة بشاميل), it’s comforting, creamy, hearty, and great for a crowd.
- 12 tbsp unsalted butter
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 6 cups whole milk + 1/4 cup warmed until hot
- 2 tsp kosher salt more or less to taste
- 1/2 tsp cinnamon
- 1 tsp fresh ground black pepper
- 1 lb cooked ground beef seasoned with salt, pepper, fresh garlic, cardamom, and a dash of cinnamon
- 3/4 lb cooked penne pasta cooked al dente
To make the béchamel sauce:
- Melt the butter in a medium saucepan. Whisk in the flour and then gradually whisk in the 6 cups of the hot milk. Cook, whisking constantly, until the sauce is smooth and thickened. Stir in the seasonings. Remove from heat and let sit for 10 minutes.
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. In a large bowl add the cooked penne pasta. Add 3 cups of the béchamel and 1/4 cup milk. Stir until the sauce coats all the pasta. Add half the penne to a buttered baking dish. Add the cooked ground beef. Top with the remaining béchamel. Bake in a 13 x 9 baking pan for 30-40 minutes or until the top is golden brown (you want to keep an eye on it the last 10 minutes so the top doesn't burn). Let cool slightly.