cinnamon... in a meat sauce?

This is a nice little twist on your standard pasta with meat sauce— cinnamon & cayenne give it a bit of a Moroccan vibe.

1 lb ground meat (I used beef)
1 medium onion, finely chopped
3-4 minced garlic cloves (I love garlic)
one 6-oz can of tomato paste
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/8 tsp cayenne pepper
1 TBSP red wine vinegar

Cook the meat until it's cooked through. Then add the onion & garlic, season w/salt & pepper, and cook about 5 min, until onion is tender.

Stir in the tomato paste, cinnamon & cayenne, and mix around for a couple minutes. Then add 1-1/2 cups water and bring to a boil. Simmer for 5-10 minutes until it's as thick as you want it. Add the vinegar and season with salt & pepper (I ended up adding quite a bit of salt to get the flavor I wanted—just be sure to add it gradually and taste along the way so you don't go overboard).

Toss the sauce with pasta (rigatoni is a good choice, because its large tubes hold the meat sauce well).

This was another recipe from Everyday Food Magazine, which I tweaked a little.
(what can I say, I love this magazine)


Anonymous said...

ooh, mark bittman has a (definitely more complex) version of that using braised short ribs and cinnamon. i think he says it is actually an italian dish that predates the tomato's introduction to europe. we just picked up some cinnamon at the store--i think it will make a good cold-weather dish next week!

Theresa K. said...

i am greek and we always put cinnamon in the meat sauce! orange juice too. cinnamon give earthy warmth which is a great foil against other spice heat and is also a great balance for cumin