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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 
      50g butter 
      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!