Somali Spaghetti Sauce


  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 1 teaspoon Himalayan pink salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
  • 1 teaspoon salt-free seasoning blend (such as Mrs. Dash®)
  • ½ teaspoon ground black pepper
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • 1 pound lean ground beef
  • 1onion, diced
  • 1 large potato, peeled and cubed
  • 2carrots, diced
  • 2 (14 ounce) cans diced tomatoes
  • 2 tablespoons water, or to taste(Optional)
  • 1 (16 ounce) package angel hair pasta
  • Directions

  • Step 1

    Place cilantro and garlic in a food processor; pulse until finely chopped.


  • Step 2

    Toast cumin seeds in a small pot over low heat until fragrant, 2 to 3 minutes. Allow to cool, 5 minutes. Grind into a powder.

  • Step 3

    Transfer ground cumin to a small bowl. Add Himalayan pink salt, turmeric, paprika, Italian seasoning, seasoning blend, and black pepper to make seasoning mix.

  • Step 4

    Heat oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add ground beef; cook and stir until browned, about 5 minutes. Stir in 1/2 of the seasoning mix. Add onion; cook and stir until softened, about 5 minutes. Add potato and carrots. Cook, covered, stirring occasionally, until slightly softened, about 5 minutes.

  • Step 5

    Stir tomatoes into the pot and bring sauce to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low; stir in cilantro-garlic mixture and remaining 1/2 of the seasoning mix. Simmer, stirring occasionally, until flavors combine, 30 to 40 minutes. Thin sauce with water if it seems too thick.

  • Step 6

    Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Cook angel hair in the boiling water, stirring occasionally until tender yet firm to the bite, 4 to 5 minutes. Drain. Serve sauce over pasta.

  • Cook's Notes:

    Substitute pasta sauce for the canned diced tomatoes, if desired. You can substitute another type of salt for the Himalayan pink salt.

    Mince cilantro and garlic together with a knife instead of a food processor, if you like.

    For added flavor, you can toss the cooked and drained pasta in the oil that collects on the top of the sauce. Top spaghetti with shredded cheese if you like.

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