24 March 2013

Turkish Pasta Bake - 'Firinda Makarna'

'Firinda Makarna' is translated as 'pasta in the oven' and is a really easy, tasty alternative to a usual pasta bake

1 packet of pasta - you can find 'makarna' in Turkish / Greeks and looks just like spaghetti just thicker. If you can't get your hands on makarna I'm sure this would work with any sort of pasta
500g beef mince
1 onion, finely chopped
Dried mint
Parsley - handful, finely chopped
salt and pepper

For Cheese sauce topping:
1 pint milk (I used half full fat, half semi skimmed)
1 packet of halloumi cheese, grated
1 cup grated cheddar
1 egg
1 tsp mustard powder (optional)
3 tbsp plain flour/sauce flour

  • Preheat oven to 200C.
  • Get the pasta cooking according to packet instructions, I break them in half
  • Whilst the pasta is cooking fry the onion until soft and add the mince, salt and pepper and sprinkle of dried mint. Once fried well throw in the parsley and stir.
  • Drain pasta and create layers, starting with the pasta and then the mince mixture. You should get about two layers of each.
  • To make the cheese sauce,, pour milk into a saucepan and before the heat goes on whisk in the egg. Put the heat on low and keep whisking gently. As the milk warms up - before boiling add the halloumi and half of the cheddar in handfuls at a time and keep whisking, don't allow to boil too much. Turn the heat up to medium and add the mustard powder and flour spoonful at a time, whisking in between. Keep stirring well with a whisk until the sauce is very thick and paste like.
  • Once its very, thick take off the heat and pour all over the pasta and smooth over on top. Sprinkle with a bit of cheddar and put in the oven until browned on top, about 30-45 minutes
  • Once its out allow to cool a bit then cut into squares.


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