Imqarrun il-forn - bake macaroni in the Maltese way
Imqarrun il-forn is one of the most favourite dishes for the Maltese; it is very often eaten as a Sunday Lunch. Macaroni with a special bolognaise sauce are baked in the oven until they're golden brown and smelling delicious. This dish is a variety of Timpana, where the macaroni is comes covered in pastry.
Ingredients to make Imqarrun il-Forn
500g dried macaroni
200g beef mince
200g pork mince
200g chicken livers, diced (optional)
200g bacon, finely diced
100g onions, finely diced
4 cloves garlic, crushed
50g parmesan cheese, grated
50g Edam cheese, grated
4 eggs, beaten
100g tomato paste
200g tomato purée
500ml chicken or beef stock
Salt and pepper
Preparing Imqarrun il-forn is not complicated
Preheat oven to 180˚C. Fry onions and garlic in olive oil for 5 minutes, add the bacon and pork mince and stirr well to separate from each other. Add the beef mince and cook for another 10 minutes. If you want to keep to the tradition, add the chicken liver and cook for 5 more minutes. Pour the stock, mix well and bring to boil. Simmer for 20 minutes and then you can add the tomato paste and purée.
In the mean time, boil salted water in a large pot and let the pasta cook for a little while. Don't let it cook completely as it will continue cooking in the oven. A bit before al dente is good enough. Drain the pasta and mix with sauce, add the parmesan and the rest of the cheese. Beat the eggs and stir win the mixture to give a thicker consistency.
Take a baking dish and spread some butter so that the pasta doesn't stick. Pour the pasta and add salt and pepper to taste. Bake for 1 to 1 ½ hours and enjoy a delicious traditional Maltese dish!