Magarina firinda (Cypriot beef pasta bake)

Make mealtime magic with our easy-to-make magarina firinda, a delightful Cypriot pasta bake that's both kid-friendly and dairy-free for children with a cow’s milk allergy.
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SF Soy free NF Nut free LF Lactose free GF Gluten free EF Egg free DF Dairy free Allergy Friendly Main meal
  1. Preheat oven to 180°C.
  2. Cook pasta according to packet instructions, until just al dente. Drain and rinse under cold water. Drain.
  3. Meanwhile, lightly spray a large, deep saucepan with oil and heat on medium-high heat. Cook onion, stirring, for 5 minutes or until translucent. Add mince and cook, stirring to break up lumps, for 5 minutes or until browned. Add zucchini, carrot, paste and stock, cook, stirring, for 15 minutes or until liquid has reduced. Stir through dried herbs and remove from heat.
  4. Meanwhile, to make the bechamel sauce, in a saucepan, melt spread on medium-high heat. Add flour and cook, stirring, for 1 minute or until bubbling. Gradually whisk in milk and bring to the boil. Stir through cinnamon. Reduce heat and simmer, whisking, for 5-10 minutes or until the sauce thickens.
  5. Transfer half the pasta to a baking dish and top with the mince mixture. Add the remaining pasta and then top with bechamel sauce. Bake for 30 minutes or until the top is golden. Stand for 5 minutes and then serve.

Allergy, intolerance, and dietary preference modifications

Suggest simple adjustments to the core recipe to remove/replace an allergen, intolerance and/or dietary preference.

  • For gluten free – use a gluten free pasta and cornflour instead of plain flour.

This recipe does not account for potential contamination that may occur through manufacturing and processing. Ingredients in this recipe may still have precautionary allergen food labelling (e.g. “may contain traces of”).

When preparing this recipe, it is important to:

  • double-check the label of ingredients every time you make it
  • prevent any contamination during preparation, cooking and serving.

Recipe tips

  • Any tubular pasta will work in this recipe. Ensure you don’t overcook when boiling as it will be cooked further when baked in the oven.
  • Use a food processor with grater attachment to quickly grate vegetables.
  • If you have a kitchen garden use fresh flat-leaf parsley to the beef mince mixture.
  • For children without a cow’s milk allergy, use cow’s milk instead of rice milk. You could also sprinkle cheese on top.
  • You could replace the tomato paste with a Turkish sweet red pepper paste. This is available from Turkish grocers or good delis. It has a mild spice to it, so add to taste for your liking.
  • For larger serves, you will need to cook the ingredients in batches or across 2-4 large, deep saucepans and assemble in 2-6 large baking trays.

Each serve provides

Food group Children’s serves
Vegetables 1.1 children’s serve
Meat/ alternatives 1 children’s serve
Grains 1.3 children's serve
Milk/ alternatives 0.8 children's serve
The nutritional information provided is based on the exact ingredients and method as shown. Any variation/s to the ingredients or method may alter the nutritional outcome.

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