Filipino Baked Macaroni

Macaroni and Cheese with Tomato Meat Sauce

The Filipino Baked Macaroni is a savory mac and cheese with a tomato-based meat sauce.

It is rich, creamy and meaty. The meat is a mixture of ground meat, either beef or pork with cubed ham pieces cooked in tomato sauce with red bell peppers.

The white sauce is one like in Lasagna, made from butter, flour, milk and cheese.

Here in the US, our Filipino Baked Mac is more known as Tomato Mac and Cheese -- where tomato flavor is not so pronounced and the meat ingredient is optional.

YOUR FILIPINO BAKED MACARONI SHOPPING LIST:

  • Elbow Macaroni
  • Ground Beef
  • Thick slices of Pork Ham
  • Bell Peppers
  • Tomato Sauce
  • Tomato Paste
  • Evaporated Milk
  • Butter
  • Basil Leaves
  • Oregano
  • Nutmeg
  • Parmesan Cheese
  • Cheddar Cheese

IN THE PANTRY:

  • Garlic
  • Onion
  • All purpose Flour
  • Salt and Pepper
  • Cooking Oil for Sauteing
  • Salt and Pepper

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 16-oz box Elbow Macaroni, cooked per box instruction BOLOGNESE OR MEAT SAUCE
  • 1 1/2 pound Ground Beef
  • 1 pound Pork Ham, cubed
  • 1 1/2 cup equivalent bell peppers, cubed
  • 1 tall can Tomato Sauce
  • 1 small can Tomato Paste
  • 1 piece dried bay leaf
  • 1 teaspoon dried Basil Leaves
  • 1 teaspoon Oregano
  • 1 1/2 cup water
  • 4 cloves Garlic, minced
  • 1 large Onion, chopped
  • Salt and Pepper to taste
  • Cooking Oil for Sauteing
  • BECHAMEL/MORNAY SAUCE
  • 2 cans Evaporated Milk
  • 1 cup Butter
  • 1/4 teaspoon Nutmeg
  • 2/3 cup All purpose Flour
  • 3 cups water
  • 1 cup Cheddar Cheese, shredded
  • TOPPING
  • 1 cups Parmesan Cheese

PREPARATION TIME : 15 minutes

COOKING TIME : 60 minutes

1 To do the meat sauce: saute the garlic and onion and add the ground meat and herbs. Cook until the meat are browned.

2 Add tomato sauce, tomato paste, water, salt and pepper. Bring to a boil.

3 Add the pork ham, then simmer for 15-20 minutes.

4 Let's then do the white sauce : Set the butter on a small deep pan and add the flour. Cook for 2-3 minutes on medium low heat.

5 Add the evaporated milk, water and nutmeg and mix until thick. Add the cheese.

6 To assemble : Mix the meat sauce with the pasta, then add 3/4 of the white sauce.

7 Transfer to a baking dish, cover with the remaining 1/4 white sauce and top with parmesan cheese.

8 Bake on a 350 ° F pre-heated oven for 25 - 30 minutes. Serve hot.


BENG'S TIPS

  • Too many meat sauce ingredients for you? Replace the tomato sauce and paste and all the herbs with a bottled or canned spaghetti sauce.

  • You might want to undercook the macaroni noodles a little bit so they don't get to mushy with further cooking.

  • For added flavor and flair, sprinkle shredded mozarella cheese on top together with the parmesan just before baking.

  • Like Lasagna, you could prepare the dish ahead of time and refrigerate or freeze, then thaw and bake on the day you need it.

  • No nutmeg? Just omit it in the recipe.


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