.Summary: Makaronia tou Fournou is an appetizing traditional pasta dish that is baked in the oven.
Preparation Time: About 60 minutes
Cooking Time: About 60 minutes
Servings: 9 people
One of the most common dishes in Cyprus is makaronia tou fournou, a mouthwatering pasta dish that is baked in the oven. Makaronia tou fournou is quite similar to Greek pastitsio, but the flavor is uniquely different. The cypriot version of the food is filled with a ton of delicious halloumi. This amazing dish is normally served with a salad as the main course, especially during any type of celebration.
This scrumptious layered pasta casserole dish has multiple regional spice variations, but the Cypress makaronia tou fournou recipe uses cinnamon as the main spice.
Assembling this appetizing dish is very easy, as the tasty bottom layer is bucatini or another type of tubular pasta combined with cheese and egg. Some people may use another type of béchamel cream instead of the egg and cheese, and that is fine, since the main goal is to ensure that the pasta sticks together and does not separate once it has been plated.
The luscious second layer is a mixture of ground meat, fresh tomatoes, and cinnamon. The meat that is normally used is beef or veal, but people will also use pork, a combination of minced veal and pork, minced turkey, or minced chicken. While the well-seasoned Cypress makaronia tou fournou recipe calls for cinnamon, other spices can be used including cloves, allspice, and nutmeg.
Another layer of the pasta mixture is placed on top of the meat. Once those three rich layers have been completed, a thick béchamel sauce is made with grated halloumi or anari. This mixture is very creamy and will bind everything together as it is poured over the dish and soaks through every savory layer.
Makaronia tou Fournou Ingredients
1 box of tubular pasta, either number 3 or number 6 (equivalent to 500 grams or 1.10 pounds)
1 Tbsp salt
1/3 cup halloumi cheese, grated, or dried anari, divided
1 Tbsp dried mint
1 egg white
500 grams or 1.10 pounds of either ground pork, mixed pork, or veal and beef
1 finely chopped onion
1/3 cup olive oil
½ tsp cinnamon
2 cups ripe tomatoes, grated
1 cup finely chopped parsley
1 dose Béchamel cream with halloumi
Makaronia tou Fournou Preparation
1. Bring water to boil in a saucepan and add salt.
2. Cook the pasta until it is al dente. This usually takes 10 minutes, however, check the pasta package directions for the al dente time. Do not overcook, because the pasta will continue cooking later.
3. Remove the saucepan from the heat, drain the pasta, and add a tablespoon of olive oil to the pasta and stir.
4. Heat olive oil in a sauté pan and sauté the onions until they are translucent.
Meat Sauce Section
5. Add the ground meat to the pan and sauté for a few minutes.
6. Once the meat has cooked, stir in the salt, pepper, cinnamon, and tomatoes, and cook over medium heat for approximately 15 minutes.
7. Remove the pan from the heat and add the parsley.
Béchamel Sauce Section
8. Prepare the Béchamel sauce and then mix 2 heaping tablespoons into the meat mixture.
9. Beat an egg white and mix it into the pasta.
10. Mix a few tablespoons of the grated halloumi or the anari into the pasta and then add the mint.
11. Layer half of the pasta into a baking dish (35 x 30 cm or 13.8 x 11.8 inches).
Additional grate halloumi or anari and sprinkle over the top of the dish along followed by a sprinkling of cinnamon. Makaronia tou fournou tastes heavenly straight from the oven, but the flavors become even more robust and taste better the following day. If makaronia tou fournou engage you in the cypriot cuisine don’t forget to check out the complete list of the Traditional Cypriot Foods.