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Macaronia tou Fournou / Pastichio (Pasta Bake)

I cannot stress enough that everyone’s Cypriot grandmother can make the best macaronia tou fournou EVER! Not your grandmother but mine and mine only. If there was ever a declared war over this recipe, I really wouldn’t be the slightest bit surprised.


The stakes are high on this one!


It’s not even worth fighting over because quite literally, everyone’s gran makes this the best except that mine actually really really does!



Ingredients

The Mince

1 Tbsp Olive Oil

1 Diced Onion

500g 5% Beef Mince

1 Tin Chopped Tomatoes

1 Tin Water

Handful Parsley

1 Tbsp Tomato Paste

1 Tsp Salt

1 Tsp Pepper

1/2 Tsp Ground Cinnamon


The Pasta

1 Packet of Pastichio Pasta

1Tsp Salt

1/2 Tsp Cinnamon


Béchamel Cream

2 Pints Milk

50g Unsalted butter

110g Plain Flour

100ml Sunflower Oil

1 Cup Grated Mild Cheddar Cheese

1 Large Egg

Grated Parmesan

1 Tsp Salt

Pepper


Method

Begin cooking your mince. Dice one large onion and fry until soft, do not overcook or burn the onion. Add the beef mince until in changes colour and add one tin of chopped tomatoes with one tin of water together with the tomato paste. Bring to a boil and simmer for approximately 40 minutes, until the mince becomes soft adding a teaspoon of salt, teaspoon of pepper and half a teaspoon of cinnamon. Once cooked add a handful of finely chopped parsley and set aside. All water should be absorbed.


Boil an entire packet of pasta. Once soft, drain and set aside adding salt and cinnamon.


You should have perfected this by now, given the amount of times you’ve made my moussaka?! In a large saucer heat the butter and the sunflower oil. Gradually add the flour whisking vigorously to avoid any lumps forming, this will become a thick paste. Heat your milk to save time and make life easier for you. Slowly add the milk in stages whilst whisking. Your hand will begin to hurt but keep going! Once this becomes a thick cream, add the grated cheese, egg and season with salt.


Place half the pasta, length ways, in your dish forming a base for the mince to sit on. Add all the mince on top of the pasta and layer the remaining pasta on top of the mince.


Now, slowly pour over the béchamel cream. As you pour this over, use your spatula to make dents in in the layers. This will allow the cream to ooze through the bake. Once entirely covered evenly sprinkle some cinnamon and the Parmesan cheese.


Place in the oven for 45 minutes Gas mark 6/ 400F / 200C



Tips

Good luck!


Cost

Costing under £20 for a tray size 27cm x 36cm, will give you 12 large pieces.

Half the measures for half the cost and half the tray size.

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