Mum’s Baked Pasta

Mum’s Baked Pasta
Staff Writer
Mum’s Baked Pasta

Today’s baked pasta recipe is one of my mum’s signature dishes. The original recipe came from an Egyptian friend mum met while dad was working abroad, but mum changed and added so much to the recipe (and she is still adding to it and changing it) that I think the recipe I am sharing today would probably have little to do with that original.

The secret to this baked pasta recipe is the sauce. It is a modified béchamel sauce that takes the recipe to the next level. Not only is it pink as opposed to the traditional white but also it is so rich and full of flavor that you will want to eat it with a spoon.

See all pasta recipes.

4
Servings
405
Calories Per Serving
Deliver Ingredients

Ingredients

For the pink béchamel

  • 4  Tablespoons  unsalted butter
  • 4  Tablespoons  all-purpose flour
  • 4  Cups  milk
  • 1/4-1/2 cup heavy cream (optional)
  • 3  Tablespoons  grated or shredded cheese, such as mozzarella, Parmesan, Cheddar, and/or cream cheese
  • Salt, to taste
  • 1/2  Teaspoon  white pepper
  • eggs, beaten
  • 3  Tablespoons  breadcrumbs
  • 3  Teaspoons  tomato paste

For the pasta

  • 1  Pound  pasta
  • 2  Tablespoons  olive oil
  • medium-sized onion
  • 3/4-1 pound minced meat
  • Dash of  pepper
  • Dash of  paprika
  • Dash of  cinnamon
  • Dash of  cardamom
  • Dash of  cumin

Directions

For the pink béchamel

Melt the butter in a pot over medium heat. Add the flour and stir until the color begins to change (don't let it turn dark or it will affect the final color of the béchamel sauce).

Reduce the heat to low. Add the milk gradually while whisking. Whisk until you have added all of the milk to prevent lumps from forming. Keep stirring until the béchamel thickens. Add the cream, if using, and the cheese mixture and stir for 2 minutes. Season with salt, to taste, and the white pepper.

Remove from the heat and let cool for 10-15 minutes. In a bowl, beat the eggs and add a little of the béchamel sauce to temper the eggs. Mix well. Add the mixture back into the pot of béchamel sauce and stir well. Add the breadcrumbs and the tomato paste and stir until homogenous.

For the pasta

Cook the pasta according to the package directions, but for 1-2 minutes less than the recommended time. Drain, rinse in cold water, and set aside. Heat the olive oil in a skillet over medium heat and sauté the onion until softened. Add the meat and spices and stir occasionally until the liquid evaporates. Remove from the heat.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

In a 9-by-12-inch baking dish, add a layer of béchamel sauce. Then, add half of the pasta. Top with a layer of béchamel, then add the meat layer. Add the rest of the pasta and spread the rest of the béchamel sauce on top. Bake for 45-60 minutes. Turn the oven to broil. Place under the broiler until the top is golden brown, about 1-2 minutes.

Nutritional Facts

Total Fat
15g
21%
Sugar
3g
3%
Saturated Fat
10g
42%
Cholesterol
15mg
5%
Carbohydrate, by difference
51g
39%
Protein
16g
35%
Vitamin A, RAE
140µg
20%
Vitamin B-12
1µg
42%
Vitamin C, total ascorbic acid
12mg
16%
Calcium, Ca
414mg
41%
Choline, total
6mg
1%
Fiber, total dietary
2g
8%
Folate, total
57µg
14%
Iron, Fe
2mg
11%
Magnesium, Mg
39mg
12%
Niacin
2mg
14%
Pantothenic acid
1mg
20%
Phosphorus, P
338mg
48%
Riboflavin
1mg
91%
Selenium, Se
11µg
20%
Sodium, Na
641mg
43%
Vitamin D (D2 + D3)
2µg
13%
Water
192g
7%
Zinc, Zn
1mg
13%

Pasta Shopping Tip

Italian food is about simplicity and letting the ingredients shine. So make sure you get ingredients that are great quality and flavor. Farmers markets and specialty stores will have great produce and products. Just be sure to have some great olive oil.

Pasta Cooking Tip

Unlike other highly regarded cuisines, Italian cooking is usually simple to make with many dishes having only 4 to 8 ingredients.Italian cooks rely chiefly on the quality of the ingredients rather than on elaborate preparation.

Pasta Wine Pairing

Sweet chenin blanc, muscat, or amontillado sherry with nut-based desserts; sauternes or sweet German wines with pound cake, cheesecake, and other mildly sweet desserts; sweet chenin blanc or muscat or Alsatian vendange tardive (late harvest) wines with sweeter desserts; sweet chenin blanc or muscat or Alsatian vendange tardive (late harvest) wines, port, madeira, late-harvest zinfandel, or cabernet sauvignon or cabernet franc with chocolate desserts.