Beef and macaroni pie

Ingredients:
For the meat sauce:
4 tbsp olive oil
1 onion, finely chopped
4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
2 sticks celery, finely chopped
1 kg lean minced beef
200 ml red wine
400 g can chopped tomatoes
2 tbsp tomato purée
10 cm cinnamon sticks
1/4 tsp ground cloves
1 tbsp dried oregano, Greek if possible
2 tbsp fresh chopped oregano
3 fresh bay leaves

For the pasta:
500 g tubular pasta, such as rigatoni
2 eggs, lightly beaten
50 g parmesan, finely grated
2 tbsp butter, melted, for greasing
10 g fresh white breadcrumbs

For the white sauce:
115 g butter
115 g plain flour
1.2 ltr milk, plus a little extra
1/4 tsp freshly grated nutmeg

Method:
For the meat sauce: heat the olive oil in a medium-sized pan. Add the onion, garlic and celery and fry until just beginning to brown. Add the minced beef and fry over a high heat for 5 minutes, breaking up any lumps with the wooden spoon. Add the red wine, tomatoes, tomato purée, cinnamon stick, ground cloves, dried and fresh oregano, bay leaves, 100 ml water, good pinch of salt and some black pepper. Simmer for 30-40 minutes, stirring every do often, until the sauce has thickened but still has moisture. Remove the cinnamon stick and bay leaves.

For the pasta: bring 4.5 litres of well salted water to the boil in a large saucepan. Add the pasta and cook until just al dente, Drain well, transfer to a large bowl and leave to cool slightly.

For the white sauce: melt the butter in a non-stick saucepan. Add the flour and cook out, stirring, over a medium heat for about 1 minute. Gradually whisk in the milk, then bring to the boil, continue whisking. Lower the heat and leave to simmer for 5-7 minutes, stirring occasionally. Season with the nutmeg and some salt and pepper to taste.

Preheat the oven to 180C/gas 4. Stir 250 ml (about one-fifth) of the white sauce into the warm pasta with the beaten eggs and half the grated cheese. Keep the remaining sauce warm over a low heat, stirring now and then and adding more milk if it begins to get a little thick. Use the melted butter to grease a large, shallow ovenproof dish (about 23cm x 33cm x 7cm). Spread one-third of the pasta over the base of the dish and cover with half the meat sauce. Add another third of the pasta, then the rest of the meat sauce, then a final layer of pasta.

Spoon over the remaining white sauce. Mix the last of the grated cheese with the breadcrumbs and sprinkle over the top. Bake for 40 minutes, or until bubbling hot and golden brown.

Original post with credits

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