Pasta La-Pakistani Recipe

Pasta Pairings

Photography by Rich Smith

Pasta has been a beloved cuisine staple for centuries, and for good reason. While all traditional pasta is made with a mixture of flour and egg, the countless combinations of pasta shapes and sauces means there’s a pasta dish to please any palate. Here, locals showcase their favorite pasta pairings, from authentic Italian dishes to creative twists on classics.

amna shah & sal nayab

“The aromatic minced beef (qeema) pairs nicely with the saucy spaghetti and the crispy garlic bits and is a great comfort food. If you have the meat stored in large batches, you can just whip up a great dish by mixing it with any pasta. It’s great for having a cozy evening indoors in the fall and wintertime but is equally great in the summer months too!”

pasta la pakistani

Pasta La-Pakistani

Amna Shah & Sal Nayab
Course Main Course
Cuisine Middle Eastern
Servings 4 servings


  • 2 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, finely diced
  • ½ tsp. turmeric
  • ½ tsp. chili powder
  • 2 lbs. minced beef
  • 2 Tbsp. ginger/garlic paste
  • ½ tsp. salt + 1 pinch, divided
  • 2 tsp. lemon juice
  • 2 large black cardamom (optional)
  • 1 long serrano pepper, finely diced
  • 1 medium tomato, finely diced
  • 3 leafy stems of cilantro, finely chopped
  • 1 16-oz. box spaghetti noodles
  • 4 Tbsp. marinana sauce or tomato paste
  • 4 tsp. roasted garlic
  • 1 tsp. black pepper
  • 1 tsp. oregano
  • Dash of Italian seasoning
  • 3 Tbsp. Colby Jack cheese
  • Sriracha, to taste (optional)


  • Put olive oil in saucepan and bring to a boil. Add onion, turmeric, and chili powder. Cook until onion is translucent.
  • Add beef and ginger/garlic paste, and stir on high heat. Add 11/2 teaspoon salt and cook beef until medium brown. Then add lemon juice. Put the cardamom in the mixture, add 1 cup of water, and cover with lid. Cook 15 minutes or until beef is tender. Add serrano pepper, diced tomato, and cilantro.
  • In a separate saucepan, add 32 ounces of water and a pinch of salt, and bring to a boil. Add spaghetti to water. Boil for 11 minutes, stirring occasionally. Then, drain well and set aside.
  • Put the spaghetti in a saucepan with minced meat on low heat, and add marinara sauce. Add roasted garlic, black pepper, oregano, Italian seasoning, and Colby jack cheese. For added spice, add sriracha.
  • Stir and serve while hot. Garnish with more cheese, roasted garlic, and cilantro.
Keyword Middle Eastern recipe, pasta, pasta la-pakistani
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