There’s no hunger that can’t be cured with a little slice of Mama’s pasta. Hailing from the island nation of Malta, this recipe for Għaġin fil-forn (pronounced Ah-jayn ill forn – literally ‘Pasta in the oven’) has been passed down from generation to generation. My mother has kindly blessed with me this age-old gem and she is glad to share her knowledge with you in this simple tutorial.
The Vella Family’s Pasta Bake (serves 8)
- 3 whole onions
- 1 kg beef mince
- 3 beef stock cubes
- 750 ml tomato and herb Passata (tomato cooking sauce)
- 500 g Penne pasta
- 4 eggs
- 1 packet of grated Parmesan cheese
And the bare essentials:
- Canola oil
- Cooking spray
*Note: the mince can be any cut of meat or even a vegetarian/vegan substitute.
- Begin by finely chopping 3 whole onions. Fry in some canola oil on a medium temperature.
- Add 1 kg of beef mince to the onions and cook mixture until brown.
- Mix in 3 beef-flavoured stock cubes.
- Pour in 750 ml of Passata and stir.
- Cook and stir mixture for 30 minutes on low temperature.
Boil baby, boil!
- Bring a pot of water to boil with 2 teaspoons of salt.
- Boil 500 g of Penne pasta for 10 minutes then strain water.
- Mix your meat sauce into the pot of pasta.
- Beat 4 eggs and add to mixture.
- Complete mixture by mixing in 1 small packet of grated Parmesan cheese.
Shake ‘n’ Bake
- Prepare a metal tray lined with cooking oil spray or glass baking dish.
- Fill chosen dish with mixture.
- Preheat oven to 190 degrees Celsius.
- Sprinkle extra handful of Parmesan cheese onto mix.
- Place in oven and cook for 45 minutes until golden brown.
- (Optional) Garnish with Parmesan cheese.
- Stand for 5 minutes before serving.
Impress your parents, partners, pals or children, with this delectable baked treat made with pure love and tenderness. Perfect all-year-round for lunches and dinners.