Baked Pasta with Ground Beef (Kiymali Firin Makarna)

Baked Pasta with Ground Beef (Kiymali Firin Makarna)
Baked Pasta with Ground Beef (Kiymali Firin Makarna)

500 gr Penne/Ziti
½ cup olive oil
2 lbs ground beef
1 large onion, chopped
1 cup tomato puree
3 Tbsp fresh parsley, chopped
2 eggs, beaten
½ tsp ground allspice
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
½ cup hot water
3 Tbsp breadcrumbs
1 Tbsp salt to taste
½ tsp ground black pepper to taste
½ cup unsalted butter (1 stick)
Béchamel sauce

Heat olive oil in a large saute pan. Add ground beef and cook over medium heat until pink color disappears (about 5 minutes). Add onions and cook until they are translucent (about 5 minutes more).
Add tomato sauce, hot water, parsley, allspice, cinnamon, salt, and pepper. Allow sauce to simmer over low heat for 8-10 minutes. Meanwhile, boil the pasta in lightly salted water. Drain and rinse under cold water to cool them slightly. Stir in breadcrumbs to meat sauce to absorb excess liquid and remove from heat.
Melt butter in pasta pot and return cooked pasta to the pot. Stir in half of grated cheese, beaten eggs and toss gently. Use a roughly 12 x 18 x 3 inches deep pan/tray. Grease the bottom and sides of the pan with olive oil. Layer the bottom with half the pasta and press down so that they are somewhat flat. Add the meat filling in an even layer to the pasta. Top with remaining pasta and flatten top layer as best you can.
Pre-heat the oven to 350 F (180 C) while you prepare the bechamel sauce. Double up the ingredients. Click for the béchamel sauce recipe. Pour the bechamel over the pasta making sure to pour sauce down in to the corners as well. Sprinkle with remaining 1/2 cup of grated Parmesan cheese. Bake for approximately 35-45 minutes or until the top turns a nice golden color.

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