Macarona bechamel is an Egyptian dish that MUST and I say “must” exist in every big gathering or dinner or a wedding buffet. It is a yummy mix of pasta, ground beef and béchamel sauce. However, there is a big dilemma and people usually split in two groups like when you see Five guys versus in n out crowd. The question usually is: do you like the macaroni béchamel white or red from inside? This macaroni is always served with ground beef but the choice comes to if you would add tomato sauce to the ground beef or leave it plain. This decision is very critical as it will change the look and taste of that dish. I eat and enjoy both but the red tomato sauce inside the pasta still has a special place in my heart. The recipe below goes with the red crowd but you can basically skip the tomato sauce if you like it white.
- 1 bag of pennette pasta
- 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
Meat sauce ingredients
- 1.5 pounds ground beef
- 1 onion diced in small pieces
- 1 teaspoon paprika
- 1 teaspoon all spices
- 3 tablespoons tomato paste
- 3 tablespoons corn oil
- salt and pepper
Bechamel sauce ingredients
- 1/2 cup flour
- 1 cup corn oil
- 8 to 10 cups of milk depends on the thickness you like. So start with 8 and add as needed.
- 1/4 teaspoon for the nutmeg
- salt and pepper
- 1 cup parmasean
- 1 egg (to be used at the very end as noted below)
In a hot medium pot, add some oil to brown the diced onions until light golden color.
Then add the ground beef. Move it around on low heat so it does not stick together.
Do not add salt in the beginning until it gets all the meat juices dried up (when that meat juice becomes less visible in the pot).
Add the salt, pepper, all spices and paprika and mix together.Add the tomato paste and the water (1/4 cup), or you can replace that with tomato sauce if easier. Lower the heat and simmer it for 15 minutes.
Cook the pasta as instructed on the box. However, make sure to add in the boiling water some salt, dried oregano and 1 tablespoon of olive oil.
When pasta is ready, do not wash it and just mix it with the meat sauce.
Béchamel sauce Preparation
In a medium pan, heat the oil over medium-low heat. Add the flour and stir until smooth. Cook until the whole mixture turns a golden color, about 4-5 minutes.
Meanwhile, heat the milk so when added to the flour, it does not become lumpy. Add the warm milk to the mixture while you are whisking. Be careful since the steam can get really hot!
Add some salt, pepper and nutmeg. Bring to a boil.
Cook for about 10 minutes while whisking constantly, then remove from heat. If too thick you can add more milk.
Putting it all together to be baked
Now the layering or I will call it mixing. Add the pasta in a pyrex pan. Add the meat sauce and mix.
Now, this step is very important, you need to add few scoops of the béchamel to make it very saucy but make sure you have enough left to cover the full service, the more you put inside the better.
Add the parmesan cheese and mix all together.
Now, cover all the top of the pasta with the rest of the béchamel.
Beat an egg on the side and spread it over the béchamel.
Bake at 400 degrees Fahrenheit until golden brown (about 1 hour).