Tag: beef

Kafta Kebab

Kafta Kebab

If there is only one way to eat meat, it should be kafta kabob. So juicy, tender, flavorful, and perfect with bread, rice, or salad. This kafta is seasoned with spices, onions, peppers, and tomato paste. This is one kafta recipe you can count on […]

Sambousek (beef, cheese, or eggplant filling)

Sambousek (beef, cheese, or eggplant filling)

Sambousek is also called Sambouseh throughout Egypt and the Levant regions. It is similar to samosas, but with a different flavor and spice profile for the filling. In the Arab world, it is basically a fried dumpling of flaky and crispy dough filled with beef […]

Macarona Bechamel

Macarona Bechamel



This is another classic Egyptian dish. Oozing a creamy béchamel sauce, savory beef, and yummy cheesiness, this pasta casserole will be a huge hit with the whole family. There are many variations to make this casserole slightly healthier such as using vegetables instead of beef, whole grain pasta instead of regular, and even reducing the cream and cheese used. This recipe however is the original and is the PERFECT texture and flavor. I am using my mother in law’s recipe which she perfected over the years as it is her husband’s favorite meal! Everyone who knows her, knows she makes this dish the best; so I went to none other than the source herself for the secret! 


The recipe is fairly easy and is excellent for making in large quantities and freezing extra pans for later quick meals. The trickiest part is stirring up a creamy velvety béchamel sauce. But I will take you through the steps below to help ensure the best sauce! Bechamel consists of flour and butter creamed into milk. You first need to melt the butter in a large pot over LOW HEAT. The temperature is very important. If you scorch the butter or flour, it will clump and not cook properly.


Once the butter melts, you will add some oil, and then the flour and stir consistently with a wooden spoon or a whisk into a golden paste.

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Then you need to slowly add the milk, a 1/2 cup at a time, stirring well in between each pour. It is best to use an immersion blender to stir in the milk and prevent any clumps.

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The béchamel will thicken significantly when it sits, so you want to make it after you boil the pasta and cook the beef so that it does not sit for too long.


Once the sauce is cooked, you will add some shredded romano cheese, salt and pepper.

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The pasta should be tossed in extra virgin olive oil, salt, pepper, some shredded cheese so that you’d actually want to just eat it like that! You will add a dollop of the béchamel to the cooked pasta and mix that all together. This mixture of pasta is part of the secret to achieving the perfectly delectable flavor in every bite you take. Once you have the sauce, pasta, and beef all ready, you can assemble the casserole.


First, pasta:




Second, beef: 


Then Pasta again:


Finally, crown it with the béchamel:




Bake for 30-40 minute in 400 degrees until the top is bubbling. 

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Macarona Béchamel (ala Neveen)

A delicious and cheesy casserole layered with penne pasta and a savory beef tomato sauce, this Egyptian comfort food is a major crowd pleaser!
5 from 1 vote
Course Main Course
Cuisine egyptian


  • 1 1/2 lb penne pasta
  • 2 tbsp olive oil

For the beef filling

  • 2-3 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 lb ground beef
  • 1 c diced onion (one medium onion)
  • 2-4 cloves garlic minced
  • 1/2 bunch flat leaf parsley, minced
  • 1/4 c tomato sauce or crushed tomatoes
  • 1.5 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp ground black pepper

For the Bechamél

  • 1/2 stick of butter
  • 1/4 c olive oil
  • 1/2 c flour + 2 tbsp
  • 4 cups of milk
  • 1/2 c chicken or vegetable broth
  • 1/2 c shredded romano cheese
  • 1/4 c shredded mozzarella


  • Cook the penne pasta in boiling water and 1 tbsp olive oil, just past al dente (it will cook more in the oven), and set aside to drain.

For the beef Filling:

  • Brown the beef in a pot over medium heat, adding some oil if it is not a fatty beef.
  • Add the onions and garlic and stir until you hear a sizzle and onions turn a yellow in color.
  • Add the spices, salt, and pepper.
  • Add the tomato sauce and 1/2 c water and stir.
  • Add minced parsley leaves and stir. Cook until all excess water has evaporated.

For the Bechamél Sauce

  • Make the béchamel sauce by first melting the butter over LOW heat and stirring in the olive oil.
  • Maintaining the pot over low heat, slowly add the flour, stirring constantly into a golden paste. Slowly add the milk, bit by bit, stirring constantly. Use an immersion blender to completely blend smoothly.
  • Stir in the broth and stir.
  • Turn the heat up to medium. Keep stirring and once the mixture bubbles, turn the heat back down to low. Add 1/2 tsp of salt, pepper to taste, and 1/4 cup of the shredded romano cheese. Remove the sauce from heat.
  • In a large bowl, toss the cooked pasta with 1 tbsp olive oil, a dash of salt and pepper, 1/4 cup of romano cheese, and 1/4 cup of shredded mozzarella. Add about 2 tbsp of the béchamel to the pasta and stir.
  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees (f).
  • Layer the casserole in a 9 inch rectangular dish in even layers in the following order: half of the pasta, all of the beef filling, the other half of the pasta, then pour all remaining béchamel sauce so that the penne is completely covered. Bake at 350 degrees for about 30 minutes, uncovered.
  • Allow the casserole to cool for about 10 minutes before slicing and serving. Bil hana will shifaa!
Keyword bechamel, Cheese, cheesy, comfort, Egyptian, party, pasta


Literally, maqlooba means upside down or flipped over. That is exactly what this dish is- a pot full of deliciousness, flipped over onto a plate for serving. The first time I had this was at my friend’s house for dinner, and yes she is Palestinian. […]