A recipe for Suugo Suqaar (Somali Pasta with Meat Sauce). Spaghetti noodles are paired with a xawaash spiced beef and tomato sauce for an easy and comforting meal.
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I recently had some extra Xawaash spice mix leftover while updating my photos for Suqaar Digaag (Somali Chicken Suqaar), so I used it to make Suugo Suqaar (Baasto iyo Suugo, Somali Pasta with Meat Sauce)!
This pasta is inspired by a recipe I came across in In Bibi’s Kitchen. The Xawaash spice is used to season finely chopped beef, then simmered in a tomato sauce until thickened. It was perfect for pairing with spaghetti and comes together in less than an hour.
A Few Tips
Cook the spaghetti until just tender, al dente. Serve immediately with the sauce, cilantro, and bananas. The banana adds a nice contrast in texture and a bit of sweetness.
I used canned diced tomatoes, but you can swap for fresh tomatoes during peak season.
Some Somali-style Spaghetti recipes use ground beef while others cut pieces of beef into small cubes. I went with finely chopping 1 pound (450 grams) of inside (top) round beef to get the best texture. If you are having difficulty chopping the meat, place it in the freezer for about 15 minutes. This will make the meat more firm and easier to cut.
Allow the sauce to simmer for about 30 minutes to thicken and let the flavors blend. If too thick, add a little more water. If too thin at the end of simmering, increase the heat a little. Stir often to keep the bottom and sides from burning.
Adjust the seasonings to taste before serving. The Xawaash spice blend has a mild heat.
Xawaash is a Somali spice mix made from toasted and ground cumin, coriander, pepper, cinnamon, cardamom, cloves, and turmeric. Some spices and amounts may differ based on the region.
Looking for more recipes with Spaghetti?
Suugo Suqaar (Somali Pasta with Meat Sauce) Recipe
Adapted from In Bibi’s Kitchen
Suugo Suqaar (Somali Pasta with Meat Sauce)
- 2 tablespoons (30 milliliters) olive oil
- 1 cloves garlic peeled and minced
- 1 small green bell pepper finely chopped and stem removed
- 1 medium onion peeled and finely chopped
- 1 pound (450 grams) inside (top) round beef finely chopped
- 2-3 tablespoons (14-22 grams) Xawaash spice mix
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 2 tablespoons (30 grams) tomato paste
- 28 ounces (800 grams) diced tomatoes
- 1 tablespoon (12 grams) granulated sugar
- 1 cup (240 milliliters) water
- 1 pound (450 grams) dried spaghetti
- Cilantro for garnish
- Bananas for serving
- In a large saucepan, drizzle the olive oil over medium heat.
- Once heated, add the garlic, bell pepper, and onion. Cook, stirring often, until beginning to soften and the garlic becomes fragrant.
- Add the beef, breaking it up into small pieces. Season with the Xawaash spice mix, salt, and black pepper.
- Cook, stirring occasionally and continuing to break the beef into pieces, until browned and cooked through.
- Stir in the tomato paste, then add the diced tomatoes, sugar, and water.
- Bring the mixture to a boil, then reduce heat to a simmer and cook, stirring occasionally, until thickened and the flavors are blended, about 30 minutes.
- Season to taste with more Xawaash, salt, and/or black pepper.
- Towards the end of simmering, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil.
- Add the spaghetti and cook just until tender, al dente.
- Drain the pasta and serve with the meat sauce along with fresh cilantro and bananas.