Bowl of macarona billaban over a white kitchen cloth with a spoon in it
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5 from 4 votes

Macarona Billaban

Simple Middle Eastern dish of pasta in a no cook garlic yogurt sauce, with toasted pine nuts and parsley (often topped with spiced meat)
Prep Time5 mins
Cook Time10 mins
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Middle Eastern
Keyword: pasta, yogurt, middle eastern
Servings: 6 people
Calories: 675kcal
Author: Farah Abumaizar

Ingredients

Spiced Meat:

  • 1-2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 small onion, finely diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 500 g ground beef or lamb
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 1 heaped tsp seven spices or all spice
  • 1 tsp cinnamon

For the yogurt sauce:

  • 500 g yogurt
  • 4-5 cloves garlic, crushed (I used 6, I like super garlicky!)
  • 1/4 tsp salt plus more to taste

To assemble:

  • 500 g cooked and drained pasta of choice, I like whole wheat elbow macaroni
  • 1/4 cup toasted pine nuts see notes for toasting instructions
  • handful chopped fresh parsley for garnish

Instructions

Make the yogurt sauce:

  • Mix together the yogurt, crushed garlic and salt until well combined. Taste for seasoning, add more salt or garlic if desired. Place it in the fridge to chill until meat and pasta are ready.

For the meat:

  • Heat the oil in a skillet over medium heat until hot. Add the diced onion and saute for a few minutes or until beginning to soften. Add the garlic, and continue to cook until onions are translucent.
  • Add the minced meat. If you are going to drain the cooked meat of it's fat after it browns, then don't add the salt, pepper and spices until after you drain it. If you won't drain the meat, you can add the salt, pepper, seven spices or allspice, and cinnamon and continue to cook the meat, breaking up any clumps with a wooden spoon until browned and well cooked through. Taste for seasoning and adjust accordingly.

To assemble:

  • Cook and drain pasta according to package instructions. Immediately before eating, toss pasta with yogurt sauce until well coated, then top with the spiced meat mixture, toasted pine nuts and parsley.*

Notes

To toast the pine nuts, heat 1 tbsp of olive oil over medium high heat in a skillet. Once oil is hot, add the pine nuts, and stir constantly until they turn golden brown, then remove IMMEDIATELY from the heat and place in a separate bowl to prevent further browning. Cool until using.
 
*If you won't eat all the pasta at once, only combine enough pasta and yogurt as you need for your current serving, and store the cooked pasta and yogurt sauce separately in the fridge. Every time you want to eat some, combine the pasta and yogurt on the spot because the yogurt clumps and hardens once combined with pasta and it isn't as appetizing. Topping with pine nuts and parsley should also be done right before eating.