Persian Ground Beef Macaroni with Tahdig


  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 1 package pasta (spaghetti or macaroni)
  • 1 teaspoon chopped garlic
  • 1/2 jar marinara sauce of your choice
  • 2/3 can of tomato paste
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • Salt and Pepper
  • Oil
  • 1 cup reserved pasta water


  1. In a large frying pan, saute the onions with a few tablespoons of oil over medium heat for 10 minutes or until translucent.
  2. Add the ground beef and continue to saute for 5 minutes on medium-high heat, or until the meat has turned light brown.
  3. Add your salt, pepper, turmeric, cumin, garlic and tomato paste and stir for another 5 minutes, until the tomato paste has been incorporated into the meat.
  4. Add your marinara sauce and stir to combine well. Then add your pasta water, little by little until water has reduced, about 5 minutes.
  5. Reduce heat to simmer
  6. Cook your pasta according to package instructions. Take it off heat when the pasta is somewhat al dente and drain.
  7. Take a medium or large non stick pot and add oil (enough to cover the bottom), 1 teaspoon water and a little turmeric powder. Add some pasta, covering the bottom of the pot. Then add some your meat mixture. Continue alternating between your pasta and meat sauce.
  8. Wrap the lid with a clean towel and place on top of the pot. This will allow the pasta to steam.
  9. Allow the pasta to steam over high heat for 5 minutes. Once you see the steam coming out, reduce to medium-low heat and allow to cook for 30-35 minutes. (Every stove is different, keep an eye on your pasta to make sure it doesn’t burn!)
  10. When you’re ready to serve, carefully place a serving platter on top of the pot and flip it towards you so that the Tahdig is facing up (please be very careful doing this so that you do not get burned).
  11. Serve and enjoy!

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