November 14th, 2012
Cinnamon and Clove Meat Ragu/Makaronia me Kima

I think all people that cook must have some sort of Nostalgia disorder.

Nostalgia: coming from the Greek word "Nostos" (a return home) and "algos" (pain or ache) describes a sentimental longing for the past. Usually, in my experience, brought on by a certain smell. 

This is the kima that my Yiayia made, then my Mother made, and now that I make. It fills your house with the fragrance of cinnamon and cloves that brings me back to the happiest times and the best meals. It is a sauce that is as rich and exotic as it is humble, bringing tears to any little half-Greek girls' eye. 

Cinnamon and Clove Meat Ragu/Makaronia me Kima

Serves 4

1 pound of ground beef
1 onion, chopped fine
1 14.5 ounce can of crushed tomatoes
1 cinnamon stick
3 whole cloves
a pinch of dried chile flakes
Olive oil
Salt and pepper

Saute the onion with a good drizzle of olive oil, the cinnamon stick, the cloves, the chile flakes, and a generous pinch of salt. Saute over medium heat, until translucent. The onions and spices should have a solid base of olive oil to do so.
Add the ground beef, breaking it into chunks with a wooden spoon and saute the mixture for about 5 minutes.
Add the crushed tomatoes and simmer for about 30-40 minutes on low heat. 
The ragu should have a deep red color, with some olive oil glistening on the top. 

Serve over pasta with freshly grated parmesan or Greek Kafalograviera if you can get your hands on it. (Which you probably can't.)

I think...
A Greek Cloud
Happy Thanksgiving