Makaronia me kima is a Greek-style meat sauce simmered with aromatic spices that's simply bursting with flavor. It's just the perfect easy weeknight dinner for those who love a rich and bold ragu!
You may look at this dish and think it's just a plate of bolognese, but you'd be quite wrong.
This is a Greek-style meat sauce called makaronia me kima that's made with a mix of spices that makes it quite different from the classic Bolognese ragu.
What makes makaronia me kima special is the use of cinnamon and cloves when simmering the sauce.
Why you'll love makaronia me kima
- Bold and rich Mediterranean flavors
- Very easy to make and just perfect for a weeknight dinner
- It freezes well so it's perfect for batch cooking
What goes into this Greek style meat sauce
Olive oil — Use a quality extra virgin olive oil for the best flavor.
Red onion — The flavor of red onion is perfect in this Greek meat sauce but you can use regular yellow onion, too.
Carrot and celery — These are optional but they bring extra flavor and texture to the sauce. Make sure you dice them finely so they cook evenly and quickly.
Garlic — Feel free to add more garlic if you like. Freshly chopped or minced garlic is always best for flavor.
Tomato paste + tomato sauce (passata) — This combination results in the best flavor for a tomato-based sauce.
Ground beef — Lean ground beef is perfect in this Greek meat sauce, but you can use your favorite. A mix of lamb and beef or pork and beef also works.
Dry red wine — Any dry red wine works in this sauce — Shiraz or Pinot Noir are both excellent choices.
Spices — I used a mix of ground cinnamon, cloves and bay leaves in this Greek bolognese sauce. Since the cinnamon outside Greece is often quite mellow (or at least that's how it is in the UK), I also added a cinnamon stick.
Pasta — Buccatini are perfect for makaronia me kima, and that's what I used here. However, you can make it with spaghetti, linguine or even tagliatelle.
Parmesan — I used Parmesan in this recipe because it's readily available and I always have a wedge in the fridge. However, if you can get your hands on some Greek Kefalotyri cheese, use that instead for a more authentic taste.
How to make Greek spaghetti with meat sauce
Add the garlic, cook for another minute, and then stir in the tomato paste.
Next, add the ground beef to the pot and cook for 4-5 minutes until no longer pink.
Add the dry red wine and continue to cook for 2-3 minutes until the alcohol evaporates.
Bring to a simmer, then lower the heat to medium-low and simmer for 30 minutes or until the sauce thickens to your liking.
Meanwhile, bring a large pot of water to a boil and salt it generously. Cook the pasta al dente according to the directions on the package.
Alternatively, drain the spaghetti and serve them with meat sauce and grated Parmesan on top.
Leftovers and storage
- Makaronia me kima can be made in advance and reheated right before serving. The sauce will keep well in the fridge for up to 3 days in an airtight container.
- Reheat the sauce in the microwave or on the stovetop until piping hot, then serve on top of freshly cooked pasta.
- This Greek-style meat sauce freezes well for up to 2 months. Thaw it overnight in the fridge before reheating.
Recipe notes and tips
- If you have time, simmer the sauce for up to an hour and a half on low heat. This will help the flavors develop even further.
- Don't skip the browning step for the meat because it's essential for a super flavorful sauce.
- To make makaronia me kima extra lean, use ground turkey instead of beef.
If you liked this makaronia me kima recipe, you might also like some of my other easy Greek recipes:
- Giouvarlakia (Greek Meatball Soup)
- Avgolemono — Greek Lemon Chicken Soup
- Kokkinisto (Greek Beef Stew)
- Greek Peas Stew with Potatoes (Arakas Latheros)
- Manestra (Greek Orzo with Tomato Sauce)
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1 large red onion, finely chopped
- 1 medium carrot, finely chopped or grated
- 2-3 celery stalks, finely chopped
- 2 large garlic cloves, chopped
- 2 tablespoons tomato paste
- 1 lb (500 g) lean ground beef
- ½ cup (100 ml) dry red wine
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 2 cloves
- 2-3 bay leaves
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 1 can (14 oz / 400 g) crushed tomatoes
- 10.5 oz (300 g) bucatini
- Grated parmesan to serve
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 351Total Fat: 14gSaturated Fat: 4gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 8gCholesterol: 67mgSodium: 268mgCarbohydrates: 26gFiber: 4gSugar: 6gProtein: 26g
Nutritional information is an estimate provided by an online nutrition calculator.