Chef's Choice

Chef´s Choice – Cypriot Recipes – Baked Macaroni (Pastitsio / Fırında Makarna)

Cypriot Recipes

Baked Macaroni with Minced Meat 

(Pastitsio / Fırında Makarna)

Pastitsio (from Italian “pasticcio”), sometimes spelled pastichio, is a Mediterranean baked pasta dish including ground beef and béchamel sauce in its best-known form.

In Cyprus a similar dish is called “oven macaroni” (Greek: makarónia tou foúrnou; Turkish: fırında makarna). It is an essential dish during celebrations such as Easter, where it is served along with the spit roasted meat. Recipes vary, but usually the meat sauce in the middle is made of pork, beef or lamb, tomatoes are only sometimes used, and it is flavored with mint and parsley. The top is sprinkled with grated halloumi cheese, though cheese is only sometimes added to the white sauce.

Note: There is also a Turkish Cypriot version of this recipe completely without meat, but instead with 2 sorts of cheese (Kaşar peyniri and Beyaz peyniri). Watch the video below!


1 packet (450 – 500 gr) pasta (large macaroni)

1 onion, finely chopped

1/3 cup oil

650 gr minced meat

1/2 bunch parsley

finely chopped dry mint

salt, pepper


Halloumi / Hellim

For the Sauce

3 tbs butter

6 tbs flour

5 cups milk

2 eggs

1 1/2 cups halloumi / hellim cheese, grated



Macaroni– Boil the pasta in water containing some salt and oil until soft but firm.

– Drain and allow to cool.

– Fry the onion in oil until transparent.

– Add the minced meat, salt and pepper and fry until slightly browned, finally adding the parsley.

– To make the sauce, melt the butter.

– Add the flour and stir constantly for 1 minute so that it combines with the butter. – Heat the milk and add slowly, stirring well so that the mixture does not go lumpy.

– Remove the pan from the heat and after 2-3 minutes add the salt, eggs, (well beaten) and 1/2 cup halloumi cheese and mix.

– Sprinkle some of the remaining halloumi and drizzle 3-4 tablespoons sauce over the base of an ovenproof dish. Put half the pasta into the dish, spread the minced meat over it and then the rest of the pasta.

– Sprinkle with more halloumi and finally pour over the sauce.

– Sprinkle the rest of the halloumi over the sauce together with some dry mint. – Cook in a moderate oven (180° C) for 45 minutes.

To watch the video – click here!