Macarona Bechamel

Egyptian macarona bechamel (مكرونة بشاميل,) is a comfort food recipe popular in Egypt made from penne pasta and a minced meat sauce baked with creamy béchamel.

This dish is perfect for every occasion and can be served with literally anything, or simply just on its own.

If you’re not already familiar with it, you can think of it as an Egyptian pasta bake with bechamel sauce.

What is Macarona Bechamel?

Macarona Bechamel (مكرونة بشاميل,) is essentially Egypt’s take on a Bechamel pasta bake.

Typically, it is made of three delicious layers. The bottom layer is made of boiled penne pasta. The second layer is a mixture of minced beef with onions and tomato sauce.

And finally, the top layer is made of a heart-warming thick white sauce called Bechamel.

When the casserole is baked, the top layer gets a beautiful golden brown color.

It is a delicious and filling meal on its own as it consists of protein, carbs, and fat altogether.

Macaroni Bechamel Vs Macarona Bechamel

This dish is sometimes confused as macaroni bechamel by some people (because it reminds them of macaroni and cheese).

This is incorrect for two reasons: firstly, the correct name for the dish is Macarona Bechamel. And secondly, it’s typically made using penne pasta, and not elbow macaroni.

Macarona Bechamel Recipe

Making an Egyptian pasta bake, like Macarona Bechamel, is easier than you’d think! The process is very similar to making a lasagna – except, you’re using penne pasta instead of lasagna sheets, and a creamy bechamel sauce instead of the traditional tomato-based sauce you see in many lasagnes.

Here is what you will need: You can use any medium-sized pasta for this Bechamel pasta bake, but Penne works and looks great.

For the meat sauce, you can play around with spices but I love the combination of Allspice and Cinnamon. And of course, we need the classic Bechamel ingredients of butter, flour, and milk.

Once that is set, you start by boiling the pasta in salted water until al dente, then make the meat sauce. To do this, finely dice the onion and cook it, then brown the ground beef. Add all the spices and tomato sauce and simmer until cooked through.

Next, prepare the Bechamel sauce. Melt butter in a deep pan, then slowly add in the flour and continuously whisk to create a roux.

Cook the flour, whisking continuously for 3-4 minutes, then slowly add in room temperature milk (or milk warmed in the microwave for a few seconds). Continue whisking as you add in the milk then follow it with the chicken stock.

Allow the sauce to thicken for about 5-7 minutes while whisking. Add in the seasoning and check that the sauce has thickened properly by coating the back of a spoon and running your finger through it – it should remain separated.

Next is the layering! Mix the drained pasta with a bit of the Bechamel sauce (about 1 cup). In a large deep casserole, add a spoonful of the Bechamel sauce, then add half of the pasta. Cover it with all the meat mixtures and smooth it to an even layer.

Add the second half of the pasta, then pour all of the remaining sauce on top. Make sure you have enough to cover the whole thing well.

Time to bake it! Cover it with foil and bake it at 375 F for 45 minutes. Uncover it and broil it for 15 minutes to get some browning on the top (stay close by to avoid burning it). Allow it to cool on the counter for 30 minutes or so for it to set and be easier to cut into pieces.

Storage

Macarona Bechamel is perfect if you’re looking for a make-ahead dish. You have two options here. You can assemble everything and refrigerate it the day before, then bake it before serving.

Or, you can assemble everything and cover it well with Aluminium foil then freeze it. Before baking, allow it to thaw overnight in the fridge. Both methods will work great!

Be Sure to Try These Other Egyptian Dishes!

I hope you try out this Bechamel pasta bake and let me know what you think by leaving a comment. Enjoy!

Egyptian Macarona Bechamel Recipe

Riz | Chocolates & Chai
This comforting Bechamel Pasta Bake is so delicious and requires simple ingredients. Make the pasta and the meat sauce, but the magic behind this dish is the silky Bechamel sauce that gets poured on top. Delicious!
Prep Time 5 mins
Cook Time 1 hr
Course Main Course
Cuisine Egyptian
Servings 8
Calories 834 kcal

Ingredients
  

For the Pasta

  • 500 g Penne pasta
  • Water
  • Salt to taste

For the Meat Sauce

  • 500 g Ground beef
  • 1 onion
  • 1 ½ cup tomato sauce
  • 2 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon thyme
  • 1 teaspoon salt or to taste
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper or to taste

For the Bechamel Sauce

  • 1 ½ cup flour
  • 1 ½ cup butter
  • 1 ½ litres milk
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon nutmeg

For the Assembly

  • 1 cup grated mozzarella

Instructions
 

  • Preheat your oven to 375 degree F.

For the Pasta

  • Start by boiling the pasta in salted water until al dente. Drain and set aside.

For the Meat Sauce

  • Finely dice the onion and cook in a pan with the olive oil, stirring occasionally until softened, about 5 minutes.
  • Add the meat and break it up using a wooden spoon and cook until browned, about 5 minutes. Add the salt, pepper, thyme and the tomato sauce and simmer for 3-4 minutes. set aside.

For the Bechamel Sauce

  • Begin by melting the butter over medium heat.
  • Whisk in the flour while over heat. Cook for 3-4 minutes as you continuously whisk.
  • Pour the milk in slowly while continuing to whisk until the sauce is formed.

Macarona Bechamel, Assemble!

  • In a deep, large casserole dish, add the pasta. Add the meat mixture and mix together. Smooth out to create a layer. Add a layer of mozzarella.
  • Cover using all of the Bechamel sauce and smooth it out (for presentation).
  • Bake at 375 degrees F for 40 mins. Serve with a smile!

Notes

This is generally a pretty simple recipe. There are some tips regarding the Bechamel sauce and pasta in the post, however as long as you follow the instructions, you should be good! I’d recommend playing around with the meat sauce to create a version of it that you really love!
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Blessing Funmilayo Ogunsanya
Hello, my name is Funmilayo, and i love to write about food, beauty, fashion and wellness. So welcome to my Food world! I share histories, discoveries, uniqueness, tips, and tricks on different dishes .Come let's take this adventure together. I hope you'll enjoy it as much as I do and hope to see you back here again soon.

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