Here’s a little history about how this dish was adapted into Egyptian cuisine. If you haven’t heard of bachamel sauce, it’s a milk and butter cream based sauce that’s created throughout French cooking history and many international cuisine adapted it. It’s rich flavor makes this pasta based dish absolutely mouth watering with soft texture and spiced flavor. There’s many “mama” based recipes but they all highlight the dish in one way or another to being ground beef based , penne pasta , tomato and bachamel sauce. Thankful to my wonderful mama, she passed down this recipe to me and here I am to share it. Be patient and be kind with your whisking skills, let’s get cooking.
- I used a whole box of penne pasta for two medium size tray servings. You can use alternative type of pasta if you wish, ragitoni or even macaroni pasta
- Any type of milk
- Olive oil
- Garlic cloves
- Tomato sauce
- 2 eggs
- Pasta : Let’s start by boiling the pasta and adding 1 teaspoon of oil and a dash of salt. When it’s done boiling, bring to cool in a drain and run some cold water on it then set it aside.
- Beef : For this you’re going to use ground beef, or lamb, you can also go veggie and use a blend of vegetables. In a medium size pan, bring to heat 2 tablespoons of butter and sautéed onions with garlic and a dash of black pepper and salt. When slightly brown, add beef and bring to medium low heat.
- Tomato Sauce : Cook the beef until brown then add tomato sauce and keep on low heat. Cheese is optional to add while cooking sauce. Add all spice, nutmeg , salt , black pepper and mix well until fully cooked and set aside.
- Bachamel : in a deep pot, add 3 tablespoons of butter until fully melted and brown along with 3 equal tablespoons of flour. Whisk well. You’ll have a soft paste, that’s important. Add 1 egg & whisk well.
Now time to add cold milk a little by little meanwhile whisking until you have a smooth mixture of sauce that eventually turns thick. If it’s too watery, in a separate pan you can melt more butter, followed by adding flour and add to bachamel mix and continue whiskey to increase viscocoity. If sauce is too thick, continue to add a little by little milk and whisk well. Salt and pepper to taste and leave to cool. Your sauce should be a medium thickness and flavorful.
- Add a little bit of olive oil to the base of your tray and begin adding one layer of pasta evenly to cover all of the tray.
- On top of the layer of pasta, you should add your ground beef mix as a complete layer then cover by another layer of even pasta.
- The top layer will be all bachamel , ensure all pasta is covered well so none of it burns.
- In a small bowl whisk an egg with salt and pepper and pour to the top of the bachamel to help the dish become golden.
- Preheat oven to 275 degrees C and bake for 15-20 minutes. Monitor it so it doesn’t burn.
Serve hot and enjoy !