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Greek Spaghetti (Makaronia me Kima)

  • 30 m
  • 1 h 45 m
Robb Walsh
“The meat sauce in this healthy pasta recipe is a Greek take on a red chili. This recipe calls for ground lamb but you could easily use ground beef or ground turkey instead.”


    • 2 pounds ground lamb
    • 1 medium yellow onion, chopped
    • 3 cloves garlic, crushed
    • 1 cup red wine
    • 1 28-ounce can no-salt-added crushed tomatoes (see Tip)
    • 1 cup water
    • 1 teaspoon salt
    • ½ teaspoon ground pepper
    • ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
    • ¼ teaspoon ground allspice
    • 20 ounces whole-wheat spaghetti
    • 1 tablespoon butter
    • Grated Greek hard cheese, such as Kefalotyri, or Pecorino (optional)


  • 1 Cook lamb in a large pot over medium-high heat, stirring often and breaking up with a spoon, until no longer pink, 7 to 8 minutes. Add onion and cook, stirring, until translucent, 4 to 5 minutes. Stir in garlic and cook, stirring, until tender but not browned, 2 to 3 minutes. Pour in wine and scrape up any browned bits. Add tomatoes and their juice, water, salt, pepper, cinnamon and allspice.
  • 2 Reduce heat to maintain a simmer and cook, stirring occasionally, until the sauce has reduced and thickened, about 1 hour. (Add a little water if it seems too dry.)
  • 3 About 20 minutes before the sauce is ready, bring a large pot of water to a boil. Cook spaghetti according to package directions. Drain well. Transfer to a large bowl, add butter and toss until melted. Transfer to a serving platter. Ladle the sauce over the spaghetti. Serve topped with cheese, if desired.
  • It's hard to find crushed tomatoes that are labeled “low-sodium,” so compare nutrition panels among brands. For the best tomato flavor we use those with little or no added sodium (under 200 mg per ½ cup).
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