Normally, I don’t feel like cooking on Fridays so I tend to throw something in the crockpot in the morning, or we eat out that night. Tonight neither was an option, so I went with something pretty simple–spaghetti and meatsauce. Rather than the traditional pasta sauce, I made a Greek-style one (well, it’s traditional for me, I guess). Greek meatsauce (kima) is thicker and more spicy-sweet than a regular bolognese. To say it was a staple growing up would be an understatement. We ate it at least weekly and I find myself making it almost monthly (that’s a lot for someone who likes to try new foods as often as I do).
It does take a bit of time to cook, but it’s mostly hands-off. You can also make it ahead of time and then just gently reheat it with a small amount of extra water or broth while your pasta boils. I like to use small food safe bags for the allspice, cinnamon, and bay, which is much easier to fish out at the end!
Kima yia makaronia (meatsauce for pasta)
1 Tbsp. olive oil
1 large yellow onion, diced
1-1.25 lbs. lean ground beef or ground lamb
2 cloves garlic, minced
4 Tbsp. of tomato paste (about half a small can)
1 cup water, beef broth, or a mix of the two
1 cinnamon stick (or about 1/4 – 1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon)
4-6 whole allspice balls or 4 whole cloves, or a good pinch of ground allspice or cloves
2 bay leaves
1/3 cup fresh chopped parsley
Heat the olive oil in a large, heavy-bottomed skillet with lid; add the onion. Cook until the onion starts to get tender, and then add the ground beef, breaking it up as it goes into the pan. Continue cooking beef and onions until beef is completely browned. Drain fat if necessary.
Add garlic and tomato paste and cook, stirring, for one minute. Stir in water/broth, cinnamon stick, allspice, bay, parsley, and salt and pepper to taste. Cover partially and simmer for 45-60 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add additional water if necessary (but note that, traditionally, this is a thick meatsauce). Season to taste with additional salt and pepper.
Serve over spaghetti (we use whole wheat) and top with cheese, preferably mizithra.
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