Easy-to-make Pasta Bake

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:

  • Salt
  • Canola oil
  • Cooking spray
  • Water

*Note: the mince can be any cut of meat or even a vegetarian/vegan substitute.

Get saucy2939.jpg

  1. Begin by finely chopping 3 whole onions. Fry in some canola oil on a medium temperature.
  2. Add 1 kg of beef mince to the onions and cook mixture until brown.
  3. Mix in 3 beef-flavoured stock cubes.
  4. Pour in 750 ml of Passata and stir.
  5. Cook and stir mixture for 30 minutes on low temperature.

Boil baby, boil!3

  1. Bring a pot of water to boil with 2 teaspoons of salt.
  2. Boil 500 g of Penne pasta for 10 minutes then strain water.
  3. Mix your meat sauce into the pot of pasta.
  4. Beat 4 eggs and add to mixture.
  5. Complete mixture by mixing in 1 small packet of grated Parmesan cheese.

Shake ‘n’ Bake4

  1. Prepare a metal tray lined with cooking oil spray or glass baking dish.
  2. Fill chosen dish with mixture.
  3. Preheat oven to 190 degrees Celsius.
  4. Sprinkle extra handful of Parmesan cheese onto mix.
  5. Place in oven and cook for 45 minutes until golden brown.
  6. (Optional) Garnish with Parmesan cheese.
  7. Stand for 5 minutes before serving.

    Voila! Your pasta bake is complete!

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.


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