Persian "Macaroni" - Spaghetti with Spiced Beef Sauce

August  2, 2021
2 Ratings
Photo by Anais Babajanian
  • Prep time 15 minutes
  • Cook time 1 hour
  • Serves 4
Author Notes

Let me start off by saying that this dish breaks several rules when it comes to cooking pasta. First, the noodles are broken in half (yes, I realize this is considered a cardinal sin in Italy). THEN, after cooking the pasta to “al dente,” it is STEAMED for 40 minutes! But, there is a method to the madness, and this recipe will prove that.

Cutting the noodles in half makes it easier to mix with the sauce, and steaming everything together helps the flavors really develop and penetrate through the pasta. The secret is in the meat sauce, which gets a serious upgrade with the addition of curry powder. On top of that, you get a double serving of carbs, as the bottom of the pot is lined with deliciously crispy potato slices. I hope y’all are wearing your stretchy pants for this one! —Anais Babajanian

What You'll Need
  • 1 pound Ground beef
  • 1 Yellow onion, finely chopped
  • 4-5 Garlic cloves, minced
  • .75 pounds Spaghetti noodles, broken in half
  • 1-2 Medium gold potatoes
  • 2-3 tablespoons Tomato paste
  • 1 cup Tomato sauce (8 oz can)
  • 1 tablespoon Curry powder
  • 6-7 cups Water
  • 2 tablespoons Canola oil or vegetable oil
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly cracked black pepper
  1. In a large frying pan, heat 1 tbsp of oil on medium heat, and add in onions. Sauté for 3-4 minutes, until they turn translucent and start to color a bit.
  2. Add in garlic and curry powder, and sauté for 1 minute, until fragrant.
  3. Add in beef, and season with 1 tsp salt and freshly cracked pepper. Use your spoon to break it up into smaller pieces. Sauté for 3-4 minutes until all the beef is browned.
  4. Add in tomato paste, and stir through for 1-2 minutes, until it starts to darken.
  5. Add in tomato sauce, 1 cup of water, 1/2 tsp salt, and some more cracked pepper. Increase the heat to medium-high, and bring to a boil.
  6. Once boiling, reduce to low, cover, and simmer for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  7. While the sauce is cooking, bring 5-6 cups of water to a boil in a large pot. Once boiling, add in 1 tbsp of salt and the noodles. Cook according to package directions, until the pasta is “al dente".” Drain in a colander and set aside.
  8. Peel the potatoes, and slice them crosswise into 1/2 cm rounds.
  9. In the same pot you cooked the pasta in, wipe it down until completely dry, and add in 1 tbsp of oil. Arrange potato slices so that they cover the entire bottom of the pot.
  10. Add pasta back to the pot, then the meat sauce on top. Stir to combine, and make sure every pasta strand is coated in sauce.
  11. Place a paper towel on the pot, and cover with lid. Let cook on medium heat for 7-8 minutes, then reduce to low, and cook for an additional 30 minutes.
  12. Once done cooking, remove paper towel and lid, stir to combine, and serve with salad!

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • ohm0lly
  • Anais Babajanian
    Anais Babajanian

2 Reviews

ohm0lly October 21, 2021
This is soooooo good. The curry and tomato sauce combine to create something else entirely. The pasta was so soft, maybe I overcooked it on the first round, but I don't care. This is delicious. Even as re-heated leftovers, this is still delicious.
Anais B. November 2, 2021
I'm so glad you enjoyed it!! The leftovers are even better, in my opinion. :) Thank you for the review!