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.
There are so many variations of this sauce and every Greek cook puts their own personal spin on the traditional favorite. The beauty of the recipe is that it can be adapted to your own personal taste and it will quickly become a favorite in your family.
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 40 minutes
Total Time: 50 minutes
Yield: 4-6 servings
- 1 lb. ground beef
- 1 medium onion, diced
- 2 tbsp. olive oil (optional)
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1/4 cup red wine
- 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
- 1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
- 1 tsp. dried oregano
- 1 tsp. dried mint
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
- 1 15 oz. can tomato sauce
- 1/4 cup water
- 2 tbsp. ketchup (see note)
- 1/2 tbsp. butter
- 1 lb. pasta
- Grated Mizithra or Kefalotyri cheese
- Note: The ketchup is my own addition. I have found it curbs the acidity of the tomato sauce and adds sweetness with a hint of vinegar. Feel free to substitute sugar or omit entirely if you prefer.
In a 4-quart saucepan, brown the ground beef over medium-high heat until all pink color disappears. If the ground beef is very lean, add two tbsp. olive oil before adding onion and garlic.
Add the onions and saute until translucent. Add garlic and saute until fragrant, about a minute. Add the wine and allow it to simmer a minute or two before adding the next ingredients.
Add parsley, cinnamon, oregano, mint, salt, pepper, tomato sauce and water. Bring the heat down to low and simmer uncovered for at least 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. This is also a good time to boil the water for your pasta.
Add the ketchup and 1/2 tbsp. butter. (The flavors of the sauce will develop the longer it sits, and it’s sometimes even better the second day after you make it.)
Prepare the pasta according to package directions. Serve pasta with meat sauce topping and don’t forget the grated cheese.