Greek Spaghetti with Meat Sauce

IMG_20180217_121217_839As parents living in the land of theme parks and sun, we pride ourselves on doing things with our kids that don’t involve standing in long theme park lines or surrounded by a million tourists.  Over the years, our kids have become accustomed to off-the-beaten path weekend fun.  We’ve biked Florida’s numerous paved trails, kayaked to uninhabited sandbars, toured Frank Lloyd Wright homes, visited dairy farms,  ate lunch in a castle, watched canons fire at a Spanish fort, and recently, watched sponge divers work in Tarpon Springs.

IMG_20180217_114114_239As a kid, I remember going to Tarpon Springs with my parents and touring the sponge diving center, but what I remember most was the food.  Even at 9 or 10 years old, I think I was a foodie.  The massive spits of roasting gyro meat, the hot pitas, the potato salad-topped Greek salads, the display cases full of unpronounceable pastries, the lemon potatoes, the tzatziki, the Greek spaghetti…ooohhhhh that Greek spaghetti….

Greek Spaghetti with Meat Sauce

It’s no secret that spaghetti with meat sauce is my ultimate comfort food–when I’m stressed, when I’m sick, when I need to veg in front of the TV, when I’m recovering from a hurricane.  However, as much as I’ve always loved spaghetti with meat sauce, as a kid, I’d never had any meat sauce like I had that day in Tarpon Springs….and I loved it!

On our trip to Tarpon Springs with the kids, I was reminded of the spaghetti with meat sauce from my trip there MANY years earlier and was excited to hopefully have some at lunch.  However, it wasn’t on the menu.  Sooooo, with the help of Google, I did some research and recipe comparisons, and what I came up with is pretty close, if not exactly the same, as the spaghetti with meat sauce of my childhood.


Greek Spaghetti with Meat Sauce

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Cook Time: 30 minutes

Total Time: 50 minutes

Yield: 4

Greek Spaghetti with Meat Sauce


  • 1 lb. ground beef
  • 2 TBSP olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/3 c. dry red wine
  • 1/4 c. fresh parsley, chopped
  • 3/4 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 1 tsp dried mint (I used 4 fresh leaves)
  • 15 oz. can tomato sauce (NOT spaghetti sauce)
  • 1/4 c. water
  • 2 TBSP ketchup
  • 1 lb. cooked spaghetti


  1. In a 3 qt sauce pan, brown ground beef.  Drain fat.  Add olive oil, onions, and garlic.  Saute over medium heat for 1-2 minutes or until onions begin to soften. Add red wine and bring to a simmer.  Add parsley, cinnamon, oregano, mint, tomato sauce, water, and ketchup.  Simmer over medium-low for 20-30 minutes.  Serve over pasta and top with grated Parmesan or other hard cheese.
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