makaronia cypriot lasagne

This dish is extremely popular in Cyprus and is considered to be one of  the best dishes. In terms of flavour, it is similiar to the Italian lasagne in terms of consisting of pasta, tomato, bechamel sauce and the way that the dish is layered. That being said it is completely different. Featuring fresh parsley and mint which adds a delicious herby flavour, as well as sweet cinnamon, grated Cypriot halloumi cheese throughout. To make the recipe easier, we have seperated the ingredients into the following blocks.

For the meat sauce:

  • Pork Mince  (500g)
  • Onion (1)
  • Olive Oil (1tbsp)
  • Tomato Puree (1tbsp)
  • Fresh Parsley (Handful)
  • Cinnamon (1/2tsp)
  • Sea Salt & Pepper (To taste)
For the Pasta:
  • Rigatoni Pasta (500g)
  • Olive Oil (2tbsp)
  • Mint (1tbsp)
  • (Haloumi Cheese (1/3 cup)
For the béchamel sauce:
  • Milk (300ml)
  • Butter (2tbsp)
  • All Purpose Flour (3tbsp)
  • Sea Salt & Pepper (Pinch)
  • Cinnamon (1/4tsp)
  • (Haloumi Cheese (1/3 cup)

Method:

  1.  To begin pre-heat your oven to gas mark 5, bring a large pan of water to boil with a large pinch of salt. Meanwhile finely chop up your large onion.
  2. Once the water is boiling add your 500grams of pasta (remove when aldente as you will be cooking it more in the oven). Heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a large non stick pan and add your onions. Once the onions brown (around 3-5 minutes) add in the pork mince.
  3. Cook the mince and onion until no pink meat remains, you can now add salt, pepper and cinnamon. Once the meat starts to brown you can now add in the cup of tomato pure, with an added ½ cup of water to loosen the sauce. Turn off the heat and add in a handful of chopped parsley.
  4. grab yourself a saucepan, melt the butter and flour together mixing continuously to make a roué and slowly start to add in your chosen milk, once the sauce thickens you can add salt, pepper, cinnamon and grated haloumi. Make sure you have no lumps and set aside.
  5. To your rigatoni add in haloumi and mint. Get a large deep oven dish and add half the pasta to the bottom, next top with the cooked pork, add the other half of your pasta and top with béchamel sauce. To finish top with chopped mint and ½ cup of grated haloumi.
  6. Add to the oven, cook for 45 minutes and ENJOY!

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