Macaroni – A Persian-style Pasta

Persian Spaghetti Macaroni

Tahdig makes everything better, even pasta. Macaroni is the Persian version of Italian pasta. The pasta is steamed similar to Persian rice to create a delicious crispy crust (tahdig) at the bottom of the pot. The tahdig can be a potato tahdig as in this recipe or made from the pasta itself.

While Macaroni still requires a slow cooking process, I remember it being a “quick” or easy Persian dish my mother made. I also remember eating it with ketchup! It is also popular with Torshi (Persian pickled vegetables).

Macaroni is usually made with spaghetti, but it can be made with other types of pasta. While it is traditionally made with a bolognese-type sauce, this is a great way to pack in vegetables, especially for picky eaters. This recipe uses broccoli, mushrooms, and carrots, but we have included zucchini and bell pepper before as well.

Give this veganized, Persianized pasta dish a try!

Ingredients

  • 1 small yellow onion julienned
  • 4 garlic cloves julienned
  • 1 tsp. turmeric
  • 1/2 tsp. black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp. oregano
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1 cup chopped mushrooms
  • 1 broccoli head julienned
  • 2 carrots julienned
  • 24 oz jar of plain spaghetti sauce
  • 1 package of spaghetti (or other pasta of choice)
  • Cooking oil
  • Potato Tahdig
    • 1 potato washed, peeled and cut into 4-5 slices
    • 1 Tbsp. oil
    • 2 Tbsp. water
    • 1/4 tsp. turmeric

Directions

  1. Prepare Sauce
    • Add 1 Tbsp. oil in a large pan on medium heat.
    • Add onion and sauté until golden.
    • Add garlic and sauté another 1 minute.
    • Add turmeric, black pepper, oregano and salt.
    • Add broccoli and carrots, and sauté for 3 minutes.
    • Add mushrooms and sauté until mushrooms are caramelized.
    • Add jar of spaghetti sauce. Simmer on medium/low heat for 5-10 minutes.
  2. Prepare Pasta
    • Prepare pasta according to its package instructions. Drain pasta.
  3. Layer Pasta and Sauce
    • Add 1 Tbsp. oil, 2 Tbsp. water, 1/4 tsp. turmeric to bottom of Persian rice cooker (or large non-stick pot with a lid).
    • Add sliced potato at the bottom of the pot.
    • Layer the pasta over the sliced potatoes, layer sauce, and continue layering with the sauce as the last layer.
    • Cook 45-50 minutes in the rice cooker. (If cooking in a non-stick pot, cook for 45-50 minutes on medium/low heat).
    • To serve, hold a serving platter tightly over the pot and flip over to release the entire pasta dish onto the platter with the tahdig on top.

SERVES 4-5 people

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