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Ethiopian-Style Beef Spaghetti

Ethiopian Beef Spaghetti

Ethiopia was briefly occupied by Italy in the 1930’s. In their great wisdom, they chose to adopt certain foods like spit-roasted lamb and (of course) wheat pasta- on top of which they add their renowned spiced clarified butter. 


¾ cup Ethiopian spiced butter

4 cups onion, chopped

1 lb beef sirloin

3 cloves garlic, chopped

4 Tbsp Royal Berbere or Ethiopian Berbere, ground

½ cup tomato paste

4 tomatoes, peeled and chopped

1 pack (450 g) spaghetti

250 ml cottage cheese

Parsley for garnish


  1. 1

    Place spiced butter in a pot on medium heat and sauté onions until browned, about 15 minutes.

  2. 2

    Meanwhile, chop beef into small, ½ inch cubes. Add beef, garlic and ground Berberé and sauté a few minutes.

  3. 3

    Incorporate tomato paste. Cook for 2-3 more minutes, then add tomatoes and simmer for about 30 minutes until the meat is tender and the sauce has thickened a little.

  4. 4

    Cook pasta according to package instructions. Set aside 1 cup of the cooking water then drain.

  5. 5

    Pour 1/3 of the sauce into a pot with the reserved cooking water. Bring to a boil, then add the pasta. Cook for 1 minute more to ensure the pasta is well-coated.

  6. 6

    Place on a serving dish or in individual bowls. Cover with the remaining sauce and garnish with parsley and cottage cheese. 

Leftover sauce can be refrigerated or even frozen.