Makaronia tou Fournou means pasta baked in the oven and is a common dish in Cyprus, often served as a main course, with a salad but in Cyprus it is an essential dish during all celebrations.
It is similar to Greek pastitsio with a different flavour and of course lots of halloumi in it.
Like pastitsio it is a layered pasta casserole dish. There are variations throughout the regions of Greece with a few minor different spices, the Cyprus version having cinnamon as it’s main spice.
The bottom layer is bucatini or other tubular pasta with cheese and egg as a binder, or some of the béchamel cream. If we do not add the cream our pasta will not stick together but will spread in the plate during serving. The second layer is a ground meat sauce (usually beef or veal but it can also be substituted with pork, a mixture of veal and pork mince or chicken or turkey mince) with fresh tomatoes and cinnamon, (cloves, nutmeg and allspice are a few other spices used in other regions).
On top of the sauce there is another layer of pasta and on top of that is a thick creamy Béchamel sauce with grated anari or halloumi and mixed in the pasta as well as in the béchamel sauce and some sprinkled on top together with a hint of cinnamon.
It can be eaten hot but leftovers are even better the next day.
The recipe is included in my cookbook Mint, Cinnamon & Blossom Water, Flavours of Cyprus, Kopiaste as well as in my e-cookbook, sold on all Amazon stores.
Other relevant recipes:
Kopiaste and Kali Orexi,