Legendary Dishes | Imqarrun il-forn (pasta bake)

MALTA

The Maltese version of the Mediterranean pasta bake is unique because of the variable ingredients in the countless versions of the traditional recipe. These include aubergine, pea, pumpkin and tomato for a vegetarian version plus bacon and chicken liver for an enriched meat version.

  • 500 g maccheroni nº37 / rigatoni, cooked al dente
  • 4 eggs, beaten
  • 250 g semi-hard cheese, grated
  • 200 g beef mince
  • 200 g bacon, diced
  • 200 g chicken livers, diced
  • 200 g pork mince
  • 150 ml chicken jelly / beef stock
  • 100 g onions, chopped
  • 60 g tomato paste
  • 15 g butter
  • 50 g parmigiano cheese, grated
  • 4 garlic cloves, crushed
  • Olive oil, for frying
  • Salt
  • Pepper

Preheat oven to 180°C.

In a deep saucepan sauté onions and garlic in oil for five minutes over a low heat, add the bacon followed by the pork mince and the beef mince. Cook for ten minutes. Add the livers, stir and cook for five minutes.

Pour in stock, bring to boil, simmer for 20 minutes, then add tomato paste and purée. Remove from heat.

Cook and drain pasta. Rinse in cold water to arrest the cooking process, then combine it with the meat mixture.

Stir the half of the cheese into the eggs with some seasonings. Add to the meat and pasta mixture.

Pour pasta mixture into a greased deep casserole dish, season and top with remaining cheese.

Bake for 45 minutes until the topping is golden brown.