Back on the block, the go-to pasta sauce was marinara. You now what I mean, the sauce made with tomatoes, garlic and onions that has graced Italian-American cuisine since time immemorial. So I’m always on the lookout for new and interesting ways to make a tomato sauce. And then I came upon makaronada, a Greek version of tomato-meat sauce. The ingredients are novel. They include cinnamon sticks, allspice and cloves. These are seasonings not found in everyday marinara sauce. I tried it, I loved it, and I was a convert.
Greek tomato-meat sauce is normally served over macaroni, with the addition of grated cheese. We used feta cheese. This dish has become one of our favorite ways to cook a pasta sauce. In this variation, we served it over farfalle, or bow ties. It hit the spot. With a good red wine, preferably Greek wine, or any wine of your choice for that matter, it is marvelous.
3 tablespoons butter
Half an onion, peeled and chopped
2 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
1 pound ground beef
1 6-ounce can tomato paste
2 cups water
¼ cup red wine
Salt and ground black pepper to taste
1 2-inch cinnamon stick
¼ teaspoon ground allspice
Dash of ground cloves
- Melt butter in a large skillet. Add onion, garlic and beef and cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until meat loses its pink color.
- Combine the tomato paste and water and add to the meat mixture. Add wine, salt, pepper, cinnamon stick, allspice and cloves. Bring to a boil and then reduce heat to simmer. Cook for 1 hour. Remove the cinnamon stick.
- Serve over favorite tubular pasta with grated cheese.
Yield: Makes 4 servings as a main dish or 6 to 8 servings as a side dish.