Greek-Style Bolognese (Kima)

A delicious, rich meat sauce with layers upon layers of flavour. What distinguishes kima from a traditional ragù Bolognese are the spices: this recipe calls for a combination of cinnamon, allspice and clove, which adds warmth and a slight sweetness to the dish. I love a good Bolognese, but I love this even more; once you try it, you will too! Serve it with pasta or use it as a base for moussaka or pastitsio.

  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hour 30 minutes
  • Yield: 4 1x
  • Category: Pasta, Meat


  • 1 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
  • 500 g beef mince
  • sea salt and freshly-ground black pepper
  • 1 sweet onion (or red onion), finely chopped
  • 2 large garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • ½ tsp ground cinnamon
  • ½ tsp ground allspice
  • ¼ tsp ground clove
  • 30 g double concentrated tomato purée
  • 100 ml sweet red wine
  • 1 x 400g tin of good-quality whole peeled plum tomatoes, hand-crushed
  • 250 ml good-quality beef or chicken stock
  • 1 dried bay leaf
  • ½ tsp sugar
  • cooked spaghetti and lots of grated Gruyère cheese, to serve


  1. Heat the extra-virgin olive oil in a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add the beef mince and cook until browned, 3 to 4 minutes, breaking it up with a wooden spoon or potato masher (it works surprisingly well!). Once browned, season with a generous pinch of salt and some freshly-ground black pepper.
  2. Turn the heat down to medium. Add the onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, 4 to 5 minutes. Add the garlic and the spices (cinnamon, allspice and clove) and cook for 1 minute, stirring constantly.
  3. Add the tomato purée and cook, stirring frequently, until it begins to darken, 2 to 3 minutes. Add the red wine and cook, stirring occasionally, until it is evaporated and the surface of the pot is almost dry.
  4. Add the crushed tinned tomatoes, stock, dried bay leaf and sugar. Stir to combine and bring the sauce to a simmer. Reduce the heat to low and simmer with the lid slightly ajar until the meat is very tender and the sauce has thickened, 1 to 1 ½  hours; stir occasionally.
  5. Taste and season with sea salt and freshly-ground black pepper. To serve (Greek-style), divide cooked spaghetti between bowls and top with the sauce and some grated gruyère cheese – enjoy!


Love bolognese? Try some of my other bolognese recipes: Ragu Bolognese, Brisket Ragu, Spiced Short Rib Ragu or Duck Ragu.

Did you make this recipe?

Leave a comment below and share a photo on Instagram, tagging @zenaskitchen. I can't wait to see what you've made!

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