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Rigatoni with Spiced Meat Sauce


Cinnamon and cayenne pepper add spice and heat to this pasta dish.

  • Prep:
  • Total Time:
  • Servings: 4

Source: Everyday Food, November 2008


  • Coarse salt and ground pepper
  • 12 ounces rigatoni or other short pasta
  • 1 pound ground lamb or beef chuck
  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/2 cup tomato paste
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 tablespoon red-wine vinegar


  1. In a large pot of boiling salted water, cook pasta until al dente; drain, and return to pot. Set aside.

  2. While pasta is cooking, cook lamb in a large saucepan over medium-high, breaking up with a wooden spoon, until no longer pink, 3 to 5 minutes. Add onion and garlic; season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, until onion is tender, 4 to 6 minutes.

  3. Stir in tomato paste, cinnamon, and cayenne, and cook until fragrant, about 2 minutes. Add 1 1/2 cups water; bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer, and cook until slightly thickened, 8 to 10 minutes. Stir in vinegar, and season again with salt and pepper. Add sauce to pot with pasta, and toss to combine.

Reviews Add a comment

  • MS112593972
    6 JUN, 2016
    Delicious and so easy! I added a bit more garlic and I just use the entire can of tomato paste rather than measuring a half cup. I always use ground lamb as well. I love the cinnamon with it, just a bit of added flavor but not too much. And I top with grated parmesan.
  • shipc1
    22 JAN, 2016
    I used 1lb. of ground beef and 1 lb. of ground pork because lamb it just too expensive. I doubled the garlic, we are a garlic heavy crew. It was a different spin on meat sauce. I don't know if I would make it again.
  • Eviebelle
    26 JAN, 2012
    Good recipe...the lamb gives it lots of flavor. I also think you can't go wrong adding some extra salt and pepper, or even extra cinnamon. The nutrition info from the print version is: 569 cals, 16.6g fat (6.7g saturated), 21.9g protein, 67.1g carbs, 2.8g fiber.
  • rmbr_jry
    1 NOV, 2011
    The meat sauce was good, but the cinnamon was way too strong for my tastes - it ended up overpowering the recipe for me. It did add a very nice dimension to the sauce, so I don't think I would remove it, just reduce it to maybe 1/8 tsp. Otherwise, it was quite good and I will make it again with my modifications.