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Deliciously Greek: Macaronia Me Kima

The answer to an Italian bolognese, a Greek meat sauce is different in the sense of flavors.
Text And Photo By Pam Kanavos

“Macaronia me kima” (pronounced ma ka RO nia me kee MAH) is a classic Greek dish of pasta and meat sauce. Similar to an Italian bolognese, but different in the sense of flavors. There are no carrots or celery being used, and traditional Greek flavors of cinnamon, allspice and cloves are added.

Meat sauce in Greece is referred to as kima (kee-MAH), which is also the word for ground beef. It’s thicker and more like chili in its consistency than a typical Italian bolognese sauce. Tacos, meaty mac and cheese, even chilli, or any dish that calls for classic braised ground meat can be recreate with this sauce. It is a very versatile sauce and, it’s very easy to make. You only need 10 minutes to prep and then the sauce cooks itself. Just remember to start the pasta about 10 minutes before the kima is done. Once strained, throw the past right in the sauce. Voila! There you have it, makaronia me kima.

It seems that every Greek cook puts his or her own personal spin on this traditional favorite. That is the beauty of this recipe; it can be adapted to your own personal taste and it will quickly become a favorite in your family. Here is my family’s favorite version on this traditional dish.

Enjoy!

Pasta with meat sauce (Makaronia me Kima)
 
Prep Time
Cook Time
Total Time
 
A nice easy to make comfort food, that will become your family’s favorite
Author:
Recipe Type: Main Course
Serves: 4-6
Ingredients
  • 1 lb. ground beef
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 3 tbsp. olive oil (optional)
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely minced
  • ¼ cup red wine
  • ¼ cup chopped fresh parsley
  • ½ tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 2-3 berries of allspices (or a nice pinch of ground)
  • Pinch of ground cloves (optional)
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • 1 15 oz. can tomato sauce
  • ½ teaspoon sugar
  • 1 cup water
  • ½ tbsp. butter
  • 1 lb. pasta
  • Grated Mizithra or Kefalotyri cheese
Instructions
  1. In a 4-quart saucepan, add oil and brown the ground beef over medium-high heat until all pink color disappears.
  2. Add the onions and sauté until translucent. Add garlic and sauté until fragrant, about a minute. Add the wine and allow it to simmer a minute or two before adding the next ingredients.
  3. Add, cinnamon, allspice, cloves (if using), salt, pepper, sugar, tomato sauce and water. Bring the heat down to low and simmer uncovered for at least 45 minutes, stirring occasionally. The sauce should be meat with some juice.
  4. Add the parsley and ½ tbsp. butter. (The flavors of the sauce will develop the longer if it sits, and it’s sometimes even better the second day after you make it.)
  5. Prepare the pasta according to package directions. Serve pasta with meat sauce topping and don’t forget the grated cheese.
  6. Note: If you cant find Mizithra or Kefalotyri cheese, substitute with Pecorino Roman or Parmesan Cheese
Pam Kanavos

Pam Kanavos

Pam Kanavos is a Boston-based food blogger and Pastry Chef. Her Greek heritage has not only shaped her cooking, but also vastly contributed to her culinary personality. Being a lover of all things sweet and savory, Pam cooks, bakes, tastes, and luckily shares her recipes on her blog Sucrée....

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Originally Published: May 30, 2011

5 Responses to Deliciously Greek: Macaronia Me Kima

  1. Tamara Novakoviç

    Tamara Novakoviç Reply

    May 31, 2011 at 2:08 am

    In Croatia we eat Italian version, I suppose, but I like how Greeks use allspice, cinnamon-really interesting and sounds flavorful, delicious!

  2. Sara Clevering

    Sara Clevering Reply

    June 7, 2011 at 11:09 am

    I make a big batch of bolognese every month–this looks like a fun variation, especially as I love allspice! Where do you find the cheese here in Boston? I was just looking for Kefalotyri for a recipe and subbed parmesan (just as you suggest); the Whole Foods guy said that there’s been trouble sourcing it recently?

    • Pam Kanavos

      pam Reply

      June 8, 2011 at 9:58 am

      HI Sara, Kefalotyri can be found in arlington on mass ave, in a little shop called christos. Also you can find it at any greek shop around town. You could sub it with parm no problem.

  3. Vangelis Reply

    April 30, 2012 at 9:05 am

    Hello Pam,

    Very nice recipe indeed! I am using it as a guide today that I am making it on my own!

    I will tell you the truth, I’ve never been a big fan of kefalotiri in Makaronia me Kima, not that it doesn’t taste well, but in my opinion Mizithra brings the dish to another dimension!

    For me mizithra is by far the best cheese when it comes to pasta!

    I am currently living in the UK and I brought with me a whole head of mizithra :p

    Thanks again for the recipe and have a good day!

  4. Pingback: Greek “Chili” with Orzo and Feta | SALT AND SAVOR

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