Greek Spaghetti Bolognese (Makaronia Me Kima), is THE definition of comfort food. Very similar to the Italian Bolognese sauce, only with lots more spices and a thicker texture similar to that of chili.
Type Of Meat To Use For Making Bolognese Sauce
Most people make this sauce using only lean ground beef. Which is what the original recipe calls for, and what I also prefer when making this sauce to put in a Moussaka. But what can make this sauce so much more flavorful, is the addition of ground pork.
That’s because beef doesn’t contain enough fat, therefore, looses on flavor. Also, for the same reason, it tends to end up a bit dry to the taste. That’s also why in most Bolognese Sauce recipes you’ll see the addition of bacon or pancetta to it.
So if you’re going to make this sauce for adding on top of your pasta or to make Pastitsio, then definitely go for half ground beef & half ground pork. Pasta absorbs fat like crazy and needs it in order to not be dry.
How Long To Cook Bolognese Sauce
There are versions of this sauce that instruct on giving a quick simmer (30′ or less) but to get a really tasty sauce in such a small amount of time, well it’s almost impossible. Unless you add a good amount of beef stock to it.
Slow cooking ALWAYS yields more flavorful food and that’s a fact! As for this sauce the longer you simmer, the better it gets. Meat needs it’s time to tenderize and release its flavor into the sauce.
Plus all the spices you add in this Greek Bolognese, like cinnamon, cloves, allspice, thyme blend better together and give a stronger flavor. Imagine meat that’s marinated in 30′ and meat that’s marinated for 1 and a half hour which one will be tastier?
How To Thicken Bolognese Sauce
The classic way of thickening a Bolognese sauce is by reduction. Slowly simmering for more than an hour on medium-low heat until the sauce gets nice and thick. There also other ways to achieve this though.
Using Flour: Add 1-2 tablespoons of flour right before you cover the meat with water.
Using Cornstarch: Add 1-2 tablespoons of cornstarch to a cup with cold water and mix. Pour into the sauce 5 minutes before its done.
Using Heavy Cream: You can add some heavy cream in the sauce right at the end to give it a more creamy thicker texture. Some grated cheese in it will also give a slight creaminess and an extra boost of flavor.
Type Of Grated Cheese To Use On Greek Bolognese Pasta
Best cheese combination for this pasta dish is either Greek Gruyere, Kefalotyri cheese, Pecorino, or Parmesan. All have kind of similar and strong ripened cheese flavor.
Greek Spaghetti Bolognese (Makaronia Me Kima)
- 40 ml olive oil
- 1 large onion minced
- 2 large gralic cloves chopped
- 650 grams / 1,7 lb lean ground beef or half ground beef & half ground pork
- 60 ml sweet red wine
- 1 small very ripe tomato chopped
- 8-10 pieces of allspice
- 6-7 pieces of cloves
- 1 small stick of cinnamon
- 2 dried bay leaves
- 1 teaspoon dried thyme
- 7 tablespoons tomato paste
- 1 carrot peeled
- 1 stick of celery without the leaves
- kosher salt & ground pepper
- 500 grams dried spaghetti
- Heat olive oil in a medium sized pot over high heat. Caramelize the onion and the garlic.
- Add the ground meat. Start breaking it apart with a wooden spoon. Add a bit of kosher salt (to help remove its juices).
- Add the cloves, allspice, the bay leaves, thyme, and cinnamon. Pour in the wine and stir until it evaporates.
- Once the meat has dried completely from its juices. Add the chopped tomato and tomato paste and stir for a minute or 2. OPTIONAL: At this point, you may add 1-2 tablespoons of flour to thicken the sauce.
- Cover with water and add the carrot and celery. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer for about 1 hour and 30 minutes or until sauce is thick enough.
- Season with pepper and extra salt if needed.
- Cook pasta according to package instructions.
- Serve with plenty of sauce and grated cheese on top.