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5 from 2 votes

Baked bechamel pasta

Browned ground meat sandwiched between two layers of saucy pasta and topped with a thick luscious béchamel sauce.
Prep Time35 mins
Cook Time45 mins
Total Time1 hr 20 mins
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Egyptian
Servings: 12 servings
Calories: 320kcal
Author: Amira

Ingredients

  • 16 ounce box penne pasta.*
  • pound  ground beef.
  • medium onion diced.
  • Tablespoon  tomato paste.
  • cups  of milk or a mixture of milk and broth. .**
  • 12  Tablespoon  flour.***
  • 1/4 cup of unsalted butter.****
  • 1/4 cup + 3 Tablespoons oil.****
  • Salt and pepper to taste.
  • Optional: an egg.

Instructions

Cook Pasta:

  • Cook pasta according to package directions, try to make it a bit chewy as it will continue cooking in the béchamel sauce in the oven.
  • Drain and do not rinse. Add a tablespoon of oil to the pasta and stir to combine. Check seasoning of the pasta, adding more salt and pepper if you like.

Cook minced meat:

  • In a pan over medium heat, add 2 tablespoon of oil, then sauté onion until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add ground meat and brown.
  • Drain fat and add 2 tablespoons of the tomato paste, mixing everything well together. Continue cooking for a couple of minutes more. Season with salt and pepper.
  • Set aside.

Make the béchamel sauce:*****

  • In a pan over medium heat, melt butter, add flour and whisk so no lumps form. Keep cooking the flour until it starts to bubble.
  • Add the liquids gradually, one cup at a time whisking vigorously as the sauce will thicken.
  • When it is bubbly and thick, turn off the heat, season with salt and pepper and let it cool down.

Assemble the dish and bake:

  • Preheat your oven to 350F.
  • Add the remaining 2 Tablespoons of tomato paste to the pasta and about half a cup of the béchamel sauce and mix well.
  • In a 9x13 oven dish, spread another 1/2 cup of the béchamel sauce evenly at the bottom. Spread half the pasta , then layer the entire meat mixture over the pasta. Top that with the remaining half of the pasta and level.
  • Crack an egg over the remaining béchamel sauce and whisk well.
  • Pour the béchamel over the pasta and spread evenly.
  • Bake in oven for almost 45 minutes or until it is golden brown.
  • Let it cool down, cut and serve.
  • Enjoy!

Notes

* Use any pasta shape you have, traditionally it is made with penne. You can make it gluten free by using rice pasta.
** For the liquids used to make béchamel sauce, I prefer using half milk and half broth, any brith you have. If you like it extra saucy and creamy, add another cup of liquid so the total will be 5 cups, but do not forget to add 2 more Tablespoons of flour and another Tablespoon of oil or butter.
*** To get pasta squares that holds its shape while serving I use 3 Tablespoons of flour for each cup of liquid. If you care more for a liquid sauce that will be oozing from everywhere and a fall apart pieces use 2 tablespoons per cup of liquid. Some people even use one tablespoon but I've found that following this makes the béchamel sauce so runny and it sinks to the bottom of the dish leaving dry pasta up.
**** If you want a lighter version use all oil, olive oil or vegetable whatever you like. I've seen some people do not use fat AT ALL, they just roast flour in the hot pan then add the liquids, this might be a good option for people with health issues regarding fat, but of course taste will be different.
***** Some like adding mozzarella or parm. Cheese to the béchamel sauce or mixing them with the pasta itself. I like doing mine as my mama used to.. plain.

Nutrition

Calories: 320kcal