Ev's Greek Spaghetti Dinner

"Don't be put off by the long list of ingredients and instructions - it comes together really quickly and I'm a stickler for detail. This is really good and I do recommend you try spaghetti 'the Greek way'. I'm pretty sure you're going to like it.;-) If you want to make this a totally Greek dinner, then serve with a Greek salad, crusty bread, red wine, and fresh fruit for dessert."
photo by evelynathens photo by evelynathens
photo by evelynathens
photo by evelynathens photo by evelynathens
photo by evelynathens photo by evelynathens
Ready In:
1hr 35mins




  • In a medium to large sized pot, add the olive oil, onion and garlic and cook, stirring often, over high heat until onion is translucent and whole house smells good, about 4 minutes. Add ground beef and smash down with the tip of your wooden spoon to break it up. Brown beef well.
  • When you think it’s been browned long enough and it’s time to give it a stir to redistribute the meat for more browning – STOP – wait another minute and a half to two minutes, and then stir up the meat. Do this repeatedly until all the meat is good and brown. This is important for the end result. For a good meat sauce, you want your meat to have browned sufficiently, and most people don’t give it enough time. In all, this process should take 12-15 minutes.
  • Add all the remaining ingredients, bring back to a boil, and reduce heat to a simmer. Simmer, uncovered, for 35 minutes, then cover pot and simmer a further 30 minutes. This is as long as I cook it for my family, the sauce is as thick as we like it. If you like your sauce thicker, cook it uncovered slightly longer before covering the pot (another 5-10 minutes?). If you like your sauce thinner, cover the pot after 25-30 minutes of simmering before continuing with the additional half hour.
  • Fish out bay leaves, chilis (if using), allspice berries and cinnamon sticks.
  • This recipe makes quite a lot of sauce, which is a good thing as you can freeze what's left to enjoy on another day, when there's little to no time to cook a homemade meal.
  • To make authentic greek-style pasta: Cook pasta (I usually use spaghettini, but not exclusively) in the regular way until al dente. Drain.
  • In the dry pot you cooked the pasta in, add the butter (BUTTER, not oil, not margarine); melt and brown the butter. This takes about 3-4 minutes at high heat. Turn off heat source and add spaghetti back to the pot. Toss to coat with browned butter.
  • Put spaghetti in large platter, pour half of sauce over, sprinkle with about ½ cup myzithra cheese.
  • Put the remaining sauce in a deep bowl and serve at the table for people to top off their pasta along with extra grated cheese.

Questions & Replies

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  1. This tastes very much like my grandmother's spaghetti, so it was a very memorable meal for me. I've never liked any meat sauce but hers, and now I feel that I can recreate it myself (Grammie would be so proud!). I made this exactly as directed except for three things: had to use ground allspice (about 1/4 - 1/2 t or so), had to use ground cinnamon (also about 1/4 - 1/2 t or so), and used more cheese just because I love mizithra! The taste was really outstanding (reminded me a bit of the sauce Grammie used to make with chicken kapama). The recipe really does come together quickly; while the meat was browning, I measured out the dry ingredients in one ramekin, and put the wet ingredients (except for tomatoes and water) in another, so it was a snap to make, although it was torture to wait for the sauce to be ready - smelled too good! Per Evelyn's suggestion, we paired this with a simple salad, bread, and red wine. Wonderful and delicious!
  2. i think this is great!!! ecspecially since i'm a student in middle school that just got a big greek project {which was to make a greek recipe book!} i'd like to thank you for the recipe it was a big help!!!! - M.M.
  3. Excellent spaghetti sauce! Wouldn't change a thing except maybe to add a couple more chiles next time. Just delicious!!
  4. I loved the chilli in this and the nice flavours of the herbs and spices, but would have preferred a good slug of red wine to the maggi seasoning, Worchestershire sauce and red wine vinegar the recipe called for. But I think the family will ask for this again as a change from our normal pasta sauce. I will be browning my meat the same way as this no matter which version I make-that was a really good lesson thanks Evelyn.
  5. Way, way too much vinegar. I thought maybe it would improve the longer it cooked but nope. I had to throw the pot out. Such a waste.


  1. This is an amazing dish!! I used 1/2 tsp of ground cinnamon and 1/2 tsp of ground allspice instead of the sticks and berries. I thought all the spices/herbs were an odd combination but it all worked out well. Browning the butter and tossing the noodles in it definitely cinched the deliciousness of this recipe. I put the browned buttered noodles in a large serving bowl and then tossed it with the sauce. Next time I will make Greek salads as a side dish to accompany this.
  2. I really liked this but the family was not as excited about it. As with most tomato sauces the flavors really deepened after sitting a day, and we would have rated it lower if we had done it directly after eating. I used 1/4 t of ground cinnamon and allspice instead of the whole spices. One big disappointment....I was really looking forward to the flavor tossing the pasta in the browned butter would add, but we could not taste a differnce from just plain pasta at all, so I do not think I would do that step again. But with all that said I would make this again, and that is all that really matters.


<style>body { background: url("http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3639/3512121819_f2f1aaf050.jpg?v=0"); background-repeat: repeat-y; }</style> OK, here goes. I live in Athens, Greece. I moved out here many, many years ago from Ottawa, Canada - so I am blessed in having two wonderful heritages! I suffer from compulsive obsessive behaviour with regard to food and my psychiatrist thought it would be a good idea to find a 'society' where many have the same problem and try to find a cure. So far, I've copied a couple of thousand recipes from this site and my psychiatrist has thrown the towel in and refuses to answer the phone when I call. What did I do wrong? Got 3 kids that keep me on the go - 10 and under at this point (2008) - I may not get round to updating this for a few years, so you'll have to do your own maths. I teach English full-time and Greek Cookery part-time. I would like to make the cooking part of it full-time and the English Grammar part of it part-time. That's all for now.
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