Whole-Wheat Spaghetti with Lamb, Tomato, and Cumin Sauce


A Middle Eastern version of the spaghetti with meat sauce we all know and love, this pasta should find a ready audience. It's good with macaroni or with plain spaghetti. Slideshow:  Middle Eastern Recipes 

Whole-Wheat Spaghetti with Lamb, Tomato, and Cumin Sauce
Photo: © Helene Dujardin


  • 2 tablespoons cooking oil

  • 1 onion (chopped)

  • 2 cloves garlic (chopped)

  • 1 pound ground lamb

  • 1 tablespoon ground cumin

  • 1 ½ cups canned crushed tomatoes in thick puree (one 16-ounce can)

  • 1 ¾ teaspoons salt

  • ¾ pound whole-wheat spaghetti

  • ½ teaspoon fresh-ground black pepper

  • cup chopped fresh mint or parsley


  1. In a large frying pan, heat the oil over moderately low heat. Add the onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and then the lamb. Cook until the meat is no longer pink, about 3 minutes. Stir in the cumin, tomatoes, and salt. Cover and simmer for 15 minutes.

  2. In a large pot of boiling, salted water, cook the spaghetti until just done, about 15 minutes. Drain the pasta and toss it with the sauce, pepper, and mint.


Variation Whole-Wheat Spaghetti with Meat Sauce: You can substitute 1 pound of ground beef for the ground lamb. Use the same procedure, but decrease the cumin to 11/2 teaspoons and use parsley rather than mint.

Suggested Pairing

The spiciness of the cumin, the earthiness of the whole-wheat spaghetti, and the gaminess of the lamb are best with a full-bodied, slightly rough red wine such as a Côtes-du-Rhône from the southern part of France.

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