Hearty Mediterranean Style Pasta Recipe
This hearty pasta dish is home-style cooking at its best. A hearty tomato-based meat sauce is spiked with spices, combined with pasta, and topped with salty feta and fresh parsley.
This dish reminds me of being a kid. Well, kinda. You see, I never ate this dish growing up. What I DID eat however, was all kinds of meat dishes spiced with allspice, which is a very traditional way to flavor meat in Mediterranean and Middle Eastern cuisine. The first time I made this hearty pasta dish, and put a spoonful in my mouth, I was transported immediately back to my childhood.
Use Your Spice Cupboard
This is a great recipe to use the spices you keep on hand. Ground coriander is the seeds of the cilantro plant. Warming allspice is added along with sweet paprika and black pepper for a delicious combination that is so satisfying. Since creating this recipe, I discovered that it’s very close to Cincinnati Chili, a dish I had never heard of. Turns out Cincinnati Chili was brought to the U.S. by, wait for it, a Macedonian immigrant in the 1920s. My grandfather had Macedonian roots, so it just makes sense that I gravitated towards this dish!
What is really needed to go alongside a comforting bowl of pasta? Not a whole lot really, but if you need it, try this Crisp Romaine Salad with Parsley and Mint to get your greens.
Hearty Mediterranean-Style Pasta Recipe
- 1 small yellow onion
- 3 cloves garlic
- 2 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1 pound grass-fed ground beef*
- 3/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
- 1 1/2 teaspoons ground allspice
- 1 1/2 teaspoons ground coriander
- 1/2 teaspoon paprika
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
- 1 28 oz. can diced tomatoes
- 12 oz. short pasta of choice**
- crumbled feta cheese, for garnish (optional)
- chopped parsley, for garnish (optional)
- Chop onion and mince garlic.
- Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add olive oil. Add ground beef and brown, breaking up into small pieces with a metal spoon, until fully browned.
- Turn heat down to medium, add onion and salt, and cook for 8-10 minutes, until onions are soft, stirring occasionally. Add garlic and spices, including black pepper.
- Add canned tomatoes. Bring to a boil, lower to a simmer, and cook for 10 minutes. Add more water if sticking at all. Taste and add more salt if needed.
- Meanwhile, boil water for pasta and add 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt. Cook pasta until al dente. Drain. Serve sauce over cooked pasta, topped with feta cheese and parsley, if desired.