Baked Macaroni in Pastry
This Maltese classic is similar to the Italian timpano.
1 large yellow onion, peeled and chopped
2 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
5 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
1 lb. ground beef or pork
1⁄4 cup tomato paste
6 fresh basil leaves, roughly torn
Leaves from 3 sprigs flat-leaf parsley, roughly chopped
1 tsp. cumin seeds, crushed
1 tsp. Maltese Spice
1 bay leaf
1 lb. ziti or penne, cooked
2 hard-cooked eggs, peeled and chopped
3 eggs, lightly beaten
1⁄4 cup grated parmigiano-reggiano
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 sheets puff pastry (1⁄2 lb.)
1. Cook onions and garlic in oil in a large skillet over medium heat until soft, 15–20 minutes. Add meat and cook 15 minutes more. Pour off fat. Stir in tomato paste, 1 cup water, basil, parsley, cumin, spice mixture, and bay leaf. Simmer for 30 minutes, adding more water if meat dries out. Remove bay leaf.
2. Preheat oven to 400°. Combine meat mixture and pasta in a large bowl. Stir in hard-cooked eggs, beaten eggs, cheese, and salt and pepper to taste. Roll out 1 sheet puff pastry to completely line a 12" × 14" baking dish. Add meat and pasta mixture, then roll out remaining pastry large enough to cover top. Pinch edges of pastry together, cut vent holes, and bake until golden brown, about 30 minutes.