Beef in aromatic tomato sauce on pasta

The spices in this sauce have influences from the Middle East. Beef is what I used but any red meat will work great especially lamb. Again the pasta that’s used here is fusilli but I have used large shells and rigatoni with success.

1lb sirloin steak cut across the grain
Large can crushed tomatoes in sauce
1 small onion diced
5-6 cloves of garlic minced
1 rib celery diced
10 cremini mushrooms sliced
1/2 tsp allspice powder
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
Pinch sugar
1 tsp dried oregano
Sea salt
Olive oil
Tbsp butter
450 gr. fusilli or any other pasta
Small handful Italian parsley chopped
Grated pecorino cheese


Put sliced meat in a bowl and mix in half the garlic, allspice, cinnamon and cayenne and a couple glugs of olive oil. Allow beef to marinade at room temperature for 30 minutes. In a large pot heat up some olive oil at medium high heat and sauté the meat for two minutes stirring continuously. Add in onions, mushrooms, celery and remaining garlic and continue to cook for about 5 more minutes. Stir in the can of tomatoes and turn up the heat and add a pinch of salt, sugar and oregano. As soon as sauce comes to a boil, turn down the heat to low, cover pot and cook to 30 minutes.

For the pasta bring large pot of water to a boil with plenty dose of sea salt, when water comes to a tolling boil toss in the pasta and stir occasionally while cooking according to package directions until pasta is al dente.

Drain pasta but do not rinse, add the drained pasta back to the pot and turn heat back on to low, add the butter, couple tablespoons olive oil and sauté the noodles for 30 seconds with the butter and oil. I love to add some cheese right into the pot now mixing the pasta and turn off the heat. The noodles should be coated well with the buttery cheese.

To serve plate each bowl of pasta, topped with meat sauce and sprinkled with parsley and more cheese.

Can be served with baguette or garlic bread.

I recommend a dry red wine; Shiraz or Agiorgitiko.

Enjoy and please comment



Kale and Garlic Penne

I’ve been making a version of this pasta for so many years. Such a simple dish yet so tasty, you could use spinach, Swiss chard or a completely different “pasta filata” cheese say vlahotiri, Pecorino, could use a combination of butter and olive oil and any number of fresh herbs: dill, oregano, fennel fonds. Please comment and let me know how it worked out for you.


300 gr. penne pasta
Handful of kale washed and finely chopped
2 cloves garlic minced
Sea Salt and pepper to taste
1/4 Extra virgin olive oil
2 sprigs parsley chopped
Asiago or kasseri cheese

Bring water to a boil in a large pot with a teaspoon of sea salt, when water comes to a boil add pasta and stir every minute according to package directions, most pasta is done al-dente from 7-10 minutes. When pasta is ready drain reserving about a 1/8 cup of the pasta water. On low heat add kale to pot of pasta water and sauté for a few minutes, add the garlic, olive oil and parsley and stir in penne noodles, turn off the heat and grate the cheese into the pasta and serve, alternatively you could grate the cheese at the table on each plate as per taste.

Serves 4


<a href="