We, Persians pronounce it má.ká.ró.ní. Any pasta is makaroni. I thought we were the only ones, until I found that half the world (just guessing) call all pastas ‘makaroni’. Usually, long, spaghetti-like macaroni/bucatini are used. As you see in the photos, they have holes through the center. We don’t like our macaronies ‘al dente‘ and we don’t like them mushy either. But one thing we all want is
tah-dig (crispy caramelized bottom of the pot)! It can be by macaroni itself, potato or lavash tah-dig! Once the macaroni is boiled al dente, it is then mixed with the meat sauce and steamed for the macaroni to absorb the sauce and get perfectly soft and with crispy tah-dig ! This sure was one of the favorites of my upbringing.
Macaroni Persian Style • ماکارونی
Recipe by: Fae’s Twist & Tango (fae-magazine.com)
• 180 g / 6 oz/ 1 medium onion, chopped small
• 340 g / 12 oz lean ground beef (or lamb, turkey)
• ¾ tsp ground turmeric
• 1½ Tbsp tomato paste
• 1 tsp hot pepper paste or 1/8 tsp ground black pepper
• 1/8 tsp nutmeg or advieh 
• ¾ salt + 1 tsp for boiling pasta
• vegetable oil
• 454 g / 1 lb uncooked bucatini or Macaroni (Greek Misko #5 )
 There are varieties of advieh (Persian spice mix) available on-line or at the Persian specialty markets. The mix used for this recipe is a special blend by ZozoBaking. Ingredients: rose petals, black & white cumin, cinnamon, cloves, ginger, cardamom, nutmeg.
◊ Add chopped onion, ground meat, turmeric and 1 cup of water to a medium-size, no-stick saucepan. Place it on medium heat. Using a wooden spoon, separate the meat into small pieces for the sauce. Once boiling, lower heat to medium-low and let it cook slowly for 30 minutes. Add tomato paste, pepper paste (or black pepper) nutmeg (or advieh), ¾ tsp salt, mix well and let it cook until the liquid is almost evaporated.
◊ Fill a medium-large pot half way with water and bring to a boil. Add salt, 1 Tbsp oil and pasta. Cook for about 13 minutes or according to instructions on the packaging until al dente. Drain well.
◊ Add 2 Tbsp oil in a non-stick saucepan 20 cm dia x 10 cm deep (8″ x 4″). (If tah-dig other than macaroni is desired, place slices of russet potato or cut to size, lavash or tortilla bread, in the bottom. Otherwise…) Put half of the pasta in the saucepan. (This is when bottom of the pot can be decorated for amusing tah-dig. I took 4 strands of macaroni and twirled around two fingers and placed it in the pot x 7 x 2 rows. I also squeezed in 6 more at the sides in-between the coils. Doing it this way helps in dishing out too.)
◊ Put the other half of macaroni in the empty pot it was boiled in. Add the meat mixture, 2 Tbsp oil, 2 Tbsp water and toss well. Pour over the pasta in the saucepan. Press on top with spatula to pack the saucepan. Place 2 layers of paper towel on the rim of the saucepan and tightly close the lid. On heat a little higher than medium-low let it steam for 45 ~ 50 minutes.
◊ Place/invert a pasta platter on the pot, holding the platter tightly to the pot, lift and very carefully/cautiously flip the pot. Voilla!
~ Noushe jan • نوش جان ~
So, what’s cooking in your kitchen?