Baked Pasta with Ground Beef (Kiymali Firin Makarna)
500 gr Penne/Ziti
½ cup olive oil
2 lbsground beef
1 large onion, chopped
1 cup tomato puree
3 Tbsp fresh parsley, chopped
2 eggs, beaten
½ tsp ground allspice
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
½ cup hot water
3 Tbsp breadcrumbs
1 Tbsp salt to taste
½ tsp ground black pepper to taste
½ cup unsalted butter (1 stick)
Heat olive oil in a large saute pan. Add ground beef and cook over medium heat until pink color disappears (about 5 minutes). Add onions and cook until they are translucent (about 5 minutes more).
Add tomato sauce, hot water, parsley, allspice, cinnamon, salt, and pepper. Allow sauce to simmer over low heat for 8-10 minutes. Meanwhile, boil the pasta in lightly salted water. Drain and rinse under cold water to cool them slightly. Stir in breadcrumbs to meat sauce to absorb excess liquid and remove from heat.
Melt butter in pasta pot and return cooked pasta to the pot. Stir in half of grated cheese, beaten eggs and toss gently. Use a roughly 12 x 18 x3 inchesdeep pan/tray. Grease the bottom and sides of the pan with olive oil. Layer the bottom with half the pasta and press down so that they are somewhat flat. Add the meat filling in an even layer to the pasta. Top with remaining pasta and flatten top layer as best you can.
Pre-heat the oven to180 Cwhile you prepare the bechamel sauce. Double up the ingredients. Pour the bechamel over the pasta making sure to pour sauce down in to the corners as well. Sprinkle with remaining 1/2 cup of grated Parmesan cheese. Bake for approximately 35-45 minutes or until the top turns a nice golden color.
Bechamel Sauce (Besamel Sos)
2 cups milk
2 tbsp flour
5-6 tbsp butter/margarine
1-2 eggs, beaten
½ tsp salt to taste
A pinch of black pepper (optional)
Place the butter in a pot and melt. Add the flour and sauté over low heat till its color change to yellow. Then, add milk and stir continuously to make Béchamel sauce smooth and even. If flour particles do not dissolve use a blender. Add salt and cook for 3 minutes. Finally stir in the egg and sprinkle some black pepper if you like.
You can adjust the amount of béchamel sauce according to the recipe you cook.
By Hayriye Cetin Karaca ( www.turkishfoodandrecipes.com )