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Baked Maltese Macaroni Cake (Imqarrun il-forn)

Have you ever seen ordinary pasta look more extraordinary? Try out our Maltese Baked Macaroni Cake also called Imqarrun il-forn in Malta though also Sicilian have a similar recipe with a twist!

It’s Macaroni Cake perfection built with tubes of pasta filled with tangy ragu and covered in a crispy rigatoni topped with shredded melted Parmesan cheese. And all you need to eat a big slice of this savory perfection is 15 minutes preparation and a hot oven.

Yields: 4 portions
Prep Time: 15 mins Cook Time: 1h 45 mins Total: 2h


What is Baked Maltese Macaroni Cake?

This Maltese / Sicilian version of my “macaroni cake” can be considered a single dish and don’t think you’ll still be hungry after eating a portion. It’s a very nice dish to present for lunch as it always leaves a great impression with guests. Well you just have to try it, everyone can choose the filling that they like best, meat-based, like mine, or with a vegetable sauce, simple tomato and basil sauce – free choice to your imagination.

To make this cake I used normal rigatoni with a circumference that was not exactly mini since I find that the meat fills better the holes.  An important tip that you should not underestimated is the cooking of the pasta, which must be drained al dente before baking in the oven.

Baked Macaroni Cake Recipe

Ingredients

  • 17½ oz striped rigatoni or short pasta
  • 17½ oz minced mixed beef and pork
  • 1½ cup tomato puree
  • 1 tbsp tomato concentrate
  • ½ cup peas also frozen
  • 1 cup soffritto mixed fried carrots, onion, celery
  • ½ cup milk
  • eggs
  • ¼ cup Parmesan, grated
  • ½ tsp mild curry
  • fine salt to taste
  • pepper to taste
  • extra virgin olive oil to taste

How to cook baked macaroni cake

Cook the Meat Sauce

  • Sauté with a drizzle of oil the soffritto in a large pan and leave until browned. Use well chopped celery, onion and carrot.
  • Add the mince and brown it over a high flame just long enough to make it change color.
  • Add the tomato extract and melt it with the cooking juices. We pour the tomato sauce, and, finally, season with curry powder, salt and pepper.
  • We cook the sauce over very low heat for at least an hour, adding hot water if necessary.
  • Add the peas halfway through cooking. Stir and continue to cook the sauce until it is cooked.
  • Here is the Mediterranean meat sauce ready!

Bake the Macaroni Cake

  • Cook the short pasta in abundant salted water, drain it al dente.
  • Season the pasta with the freshly prepared ragù and mix.
  • Mix together the eggs, milk and half of the grated cheese a separate small bowl and add it to the pasta.
  • We put the pasta in an ovenproof dish covering the top layer with the remaining grated cheese.
  • Cook the pasta in a preheated oven at 200 ° C for 30 minutes, activating the grill function for 5 minutes before taking it out of the oven.
  • Here is the Macaroni Cake baked pasta with ragù served on the table!
  • Let it cool for about ten minutes before portioning it.

baked macaroni cake

baked maltese macaroni cake

Maltese Macaroni Cake (Imqarrun il-forn)

Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour 45 minutes
Total Time 2 hours
Course Dinner, Main Course
Cuisine Maltese, Mediterranean, Sicilian
Servings 4

Ingredients
  

  • 17½ oz striped rigatoni or short pasta
  • 17½ oz minced mixed beef and pork
  • cup tomato puree
  • 1 tbsp tomato concentrate
  • ½ cup peas also frozen
  • 1 cup soffritto mixed fried carrots, onion, celery
  • ½ cup milk
  • 2 eggs
  • ¼ cup Parmesan grated
  • ½ tsp mild curry
  • fine salt to taste
  • pepper to taste
  • extra virgin olive oil to taste

Instructions
 

  • In a large pot, prepare a sauté with a drizzle of oil, well chopped celery, onion and carrot.
  • Once the sauté is browned, add the mince and brown it over a high flame just long enough to make it change color.
  • Add the tomato extract and melt it with the cooking juices. We pour the tomato sauce, and, finally, season with curry powder, salt and pepper.
  • We cook the sauce over very low heat for at least an hour, adding hot water if necessary.
  • Halfway through cooking, add the peas, stir and continue to cook the sauce until it is cooked.
  • Here is the Mediterranean meat sauce ready!
  • Cook the short pasta in abundant salted water, drain it al dente.
  • Season the pasta with the freshly prepared ragù and mix.
  • In a separate small bowl mix together the eggs, milk and half of the grated cheese and add it to the pasta.
  • We put the pasta in an ovenproof dish covering the top layer with the remaining grated cheese.
  • Cook the pasta in a preheated oven at 200 ° C for 30 minutes, activating the grill function for 5 minutes before taking it out of the oven.
  • Here is the baked pasta with Mediterranean ragù served on the table!
  • Let it cool for about ten minutes before portioning it.
Keyword baced macaroni, imqarrun, imqarrun il-forn, macaroni cake

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