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Baked macaroni is a traditional Maltese food consisting of pasta with sauce cooked in the oven, combined with eggs and cheese. You will find many variations, according to each family recipes, for example, there are those who add eggplant, and there are those who also introduce the hard boiled eggs and bacon.

Another variation is to do the same preparation, but then close down in the dough, and this is called ‘timpana’. Surely a very tasty and rich dish, which once you have mastered to do the baked macaroni you will definitely fly high with the ‘timpana’.

They are both easy to make, and the wonderful thing is that you can eat them both hot and cold (at least that’s is how we see it, maybe not to everyone’s liking though). We find they’re idea dishes for picnics. Also, for the busy cook at home, extra portions can be prepared and frozen for when time is limited.

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Imqarrun il-forn
Baked macaroni / Għaġin il-forn

Here is the recipe, both in English and Maltese for everyone to be able to follow. Recipe serves around 5-6 people so you can either adjust it to your portions else as we said earlier, freeze what is extra! The recipe in Maltese will follow the one in English…

INGREDIENTS (For the oven macaroni):

  • 500g macaroni
  • 400g mixed minced
  • 200g ricotta
  • Half eggplant chopped
  • 2 chopped carrots
  • Onion chopped fine
  • 2 cloves garlic chopped fine
  • 100g frozen peas
  • 250ml of chicken stock
  • Spoon olive oil
  • Half teaspoon curry
  • Canned tomato pulp
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 3 beaten eggs
  • 300g grated cheese

EXTRA INGREDIENTS (For timpana):

  • 800g pie dough

METHOD:

  • Start by making the sauce. Heat the oil over medium heat and cook the onions and garlic until soft.
  • Add the eggplant and carrots and cook for about 5 minutes.
  • Add minced meat and continue to cook until browned. Stir occasionally and add a little water if it starts to stick.
  • Add the curry and stir a little, then add the tomato paste and a little pepper and salt. Add the puree and continue to cook.
  • Add the chicken stock and bring to the boil, then leave for about 25 minutes or until the sauce has been made slightly combined consistency; stirring occasionally on low heat.
  • Add the peas and cook for about another 5 minutes.
  • Remove from fire and let cool. In the meantime, heat the oven to 180 C.
  • Cook the macaroni in a pot with salted water for about 8 minutes, slightly less than the time indicated on the package, so you get pasta al dente. Remove the pot from the fire, remove the water and cool the pasta under cold water.
  • Put the pasta into the pot and mix with the sauce, the ricotta, eggs and 200g grated cheese.

For baked macaroni, proceed as follows:

  • Line dish with a little butter or oil. Transfer the pasta and cover with the remaining cheese.
  • Cook in the oven for about 40 minutes or until the pasta is done and has a crisp surface.

For timpana, proceed as follows:

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  • Open the dough on a flour surface to a thickness of about 4mm.
  • Line dish with a little butter or oil. Coat the bottom and sides of the dish and remove the extra dough.
  • Transfer the pasta and cover with the remaining cheese.
  • Open the remaining dough and cover the surface.
  • Cook in the oven for about 40 minutes until the dough is golden.
timpana
Timpana

INGREDJENTI (Għall-imqarrun il-forn):

  • 500g mqarrun
  • 400g ikkapuljat imħallat
  • 200g irkotta
  • Nofs brunġiela mqatta’
  • 2 karrotti mqattgħin
  • Basla mqatta’ fina
  • 2 sinniet tewm imqattgħin fini
  • 100g piżelli tal-friża
  • 250ml stokk tat-tiġieg
  • Mgħarfa żejt taż-żebbuġa
  • Nofs kuċċarina curry
  • Bott polpa tat-tadam
  • 2 imgħaref kunserva
  • 3 bajdiet imħabbtin
  • 300g ġobon cheddar maħkuk

INGREDJENTI ŻEJDA (Għat-timpana):

  • 800g għaġina tat-torti

METODU:

  1. Ibda billi tagħmel iz-zalza. Saħħan iż-żejt fuq nar medju u aqli l-basal u t-tewm sakemm il-basal jirtab.
  2. Żid il-brunġiel u l-karrotti u sajjar għal madwar 5 minuti.
  3. Żid l-ikkapuljat u kompli sajjar sakemm jismar. Ħawwad kultant u żid ftit ilma jekk jibda jeħel.
  4. Żid il-curry u ħawwad ftit, imbgħad żid il-kunserva u ftit bżar u melħ. Żid il-polpa u kompli sajjar.
  5. Żid l-istokk tat-tiġieġ u ħallih jagħli, imbgħad baxxi n-nar u ħallih itektek għal madwar 25 minuta jew sakemm iz-zalza tkun saret ta’ konsistenza kemmxejn magħquda; ħawwad kultant.
  6. Żid il-piżelli u sajjar għal madwar 5 minuti oħra.
  7. Neħħi min-nar u ħallih joqgħod.
  8. Saħħan il-forn għal 180 C.
  9. Sajjar l-imqarrun ġo borma bl-ilma bil-melħ għal madwar 8 minuti, ftit inqas mill-ħin indikat fuq il-pakkett, sabiex l-għaġin jibqa al dente. Neħħi l-borma minn fuq in-nar, neħħi l-ilma u kessaħ l-għaġin taħt l-ilma kiesaħ.
  10. Itfa’ l-għaġin ġol-borma u ħallat maz-zalza, l-irkotta, il-bajd u 200g ġobon maħkuk.

Jekk se tagħmel imqarrun il-forn, kompli hekk:

  1. Dellek dixx tal-forn bi ftit żejt jew butir. Itfa’ l-għaġin u iksi bil-kumplament tal-ġobon.
  2. Sajjar fil-forn għal madwar 40 minuta jew sakemm l-għaġin ikun aqgħad u sar iqarmeċ fil-wiċċ.

Jew jekk se tagħmel timpana, kompli hekk:

  1. Iftaħ l-għaġina fuq wiċċ bid-dqiq għal ħxuna ta’ madwar 4mm.
  2. Dellek dixx tal-forn bi ftit żejt jew butir. Iksi l-qiegħ u l-ġnub tad-dixx u neħħi l-għaġina żejda.
  3. Itfa’ l-għaġin u iksi bil-kumplament tal-ġobon.
  4. Erġa iftaħ l-għaġina li baqa’ u għatti l-wiċċ.
  5. Sajjar fil-forn għal madwar 40 minuta sakemm l-għaġina tkun ħmaret.
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