A recipe for Makaronia Me Kima (Μακαρόνια με Κιμά, Greek Spaghetti with Meat Sauce)! This flavorful meat sauce is packed with warming spices and perfect for serving over a bed of spaghetti.
Makaronia Me Kima (Μακαρόνια με Κιμά) is a Greek meat sauce seasoned with onion, garlic, red wine, cinnamon, allspice, cloves, and tomatoes. After simmering until thickened, it is served over a bed of spaghetti and topped with grated cheese (preferably Mizithra or Kefalotyri). I made the sauce with ground beef, but you can also switch it out for lamb or half of each depending on what you have available.
I like to let the sauce to simmer for 45 minutes to an hour to give the flavors some time to blend and become more pronounced. If you are short on time, the sauce can be prepared in as little as 30 minutes, but the flavors just won’t be as robust. If all of the water has evaporated and the mixture is too thick before 45 minutes, add a splash or two more as needed to keep the sauce from burning.
I topped the sauce with grated Kefalotyri immediately before serving. Kefalotyri is a hard cheese originating in Greece and Cyprus. It is made using sheep milk or a combination from sheep and goat. I have been able to find it in some specialty cheese shops and markets featuring Mediterranean ingredients. You can also use Mizithra (another favorite) or if Greek cheese isn’t available, substitute with Parmesan or Pecorino.
Adjust the flavors as desired to taste. The exact spices and amounts will vary depending on the region and family. Mint and dried oregano are other popular additions. This recipe for Makaronia Me Kima can easily be doubled.
Looking for more Greek recipes?
Makaronia Me Kima (Greek Spaghetti with Meat Sauce) Recipe
Adapted from Honest Cooking
Makaronia Me Kima (Greek Spaghetti with Meat Sauce)
- 3 tablespoons olive oil preferably Greek
- 1 medium onion diced
- 2 cloves garlic minced
- 1 pound (450 grams) ground beef
- 1/4 cup (60 ml) red wine
- 3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
- Pinch ground cloves
- 1 bay leaf
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
- 14.5 ounces (1 can, 411 grams) crushed tomatoes
- 1 cup (240 ml) water
- 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
- 1 pound (450 grams) dried spaghetti
- Grated cheese for garnish mizithra or kefalotyri
- In a large saucepan, drizzle the olive oil over medium heat. Add the onions and cook until softened, stirring occasionally. Add the garlic and cook until just fragrant, 30 seconds to 1 minute.
- Add the ground beef and cook, breaking it up into small pieces, until browned. Pour in the red wine and simmer for 2 minutes to reduce slightly.
- Stir in the cinnamon, sugar, allspice, cloves, bay leaf, salt, pepper, crushed tomatoes, and water. Reduce heat to low and simmer, uncovered and stirring occasionally, until just a little liquid remains, 45 minutes to 1 hour. If the liquid dries completely before 45 minutes, add a little more water.
- Immediately before serving, remove from heat and stir in the parsley.
- About 10 minutes before the sauce is done, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Cook the spaghetti until al dente, just tender. Drain and serve immediately topped with the meat sauce and freshly grated cheese.