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Delicious Iranian Style Spaghetti Bolognese

Have you ever tried an Iranian-style bolognese – it is akin to wrapping yourself in a warm embrace, a comforting gesture that transcends time and borders. This weekday favourite meal is a common way many Persians prepare this delicious dish, and it is usually served with a vibrant and colourful bowl of Salad Shirazi on the side. 

At the heart of this rich and delicious t dish lies the symphony of flavours harmoniously coming together through a time-honoured cooking method – the dam-pokht technique. A method often used in preparing traditional Persian rice, the dam-pokht involves steam cooking the dish to allow for a deep infusion of flavours, marrying the ingredients in a delightful union that promises a burst of taste and aroma in every bite.

And then comes the pièce de résistance, the “tahdig”, which translates to the bottom of the pot. This crispy layer is often the most sought-after part of the meal, providing a delightful crunch that contrasts perfectly with the soft and flavorful spaghetti and meat sauce. While traditionally, it’s the layer of rice that crisps up to form the tahdig, in this innovative Bolognese version, thinly sliced potatoes take the stage, offering a wonderful and crispy culinary experience that keeps you coming back for more. It’s this golden, crispy layer that adds a magical touch, making the meal not just comforting but truly soul-satisfying.

So, when you find the evening air turning a bit nippy, and the hustle and bustle of the weekday wearing you down, turn to this cherished Iranian Style Bolognese. It’s not just a meal but a delightful experience, a hug in a bowl, promising warmth, comfort, and a delightful crunch that resonates with the heart and soul of Iranian culinary artistry. Let your senses dive into this beautiful amalgamation of textures and flavours, and don’t forget to get a bit of that crispy tahdig.  Try this wonderful dish and let it whisk you away on a delicious adventure, one crispy, flavorful bite at a time.

Basic Ingredients for Iranian Style Spaghetti Bolognese

Spaghetti Bolognese:

Spaghetti Pasta: Serves as the base of the dish, known for its ability to beautifully soak up the flavors in the sauce.

Ground Meat: Adds a hearty and protein-rich element to the dish.

Vegetable Oil and Butter: Used for sautéing and bringing out the flavours of the other ingredients.

Celery, Carrots, and Onion: These veggies add a crunch and sweetness that balances the rich meat and spices.

Bay Leaf, Ginger, and Garlic: Adds aromatic complexity to the sauce.

Turmeric, Saffron, and Rose Water: Typical in Iranian cuisine, these spices and flavourings bring a rich, earthy and floral note to the dish.

Tomato Paste and Strained Tomatoes: Offers tanginess and depth, creating a rich base for the sauce.

Potatoes: Adds a different texture and heartiness to the dish.

Salt, Pepper, and Sugar: Essential for seasoning and balancing the flavours.

alternative ingredients

Ground Meat: You can substitute it with ground chicken or turkey for a lighter version.

Pasta: Gluten-free pasta or whole wheat pasta can be used for dietary preferences.

Vegetable Oil: Olive oil can be a more aromatic substitute.

Rose Water: If unavailable, you can skip it or use a hint of orange blossom water for a floral note.

Preparation Tips for Iranian Style Spaghetti Bolognese

  • Make sure to mince the vegetables finely for a uniform and smooth sauce.
  • Let the sauce simmer on low heat to allow the flavours to meld beautifully.
  • Arrange the potato slices evenly at the bottom of the pot to create a nice crispy layer.

Serving Tips for Iranian Style Spaghetti Bolognese

  • Serve the dish with a side of Salad Shirazi to add a fresh and zesty element to the meal.
  • Flip the cooked pasta on to a serving plate, you will end up having a dish akin a pasta cake with the wonderful crispy tahdig. Cut the pasta into slices so that everyone gets a fair share of the tahdig.

storage tips

  • Store leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3-4 days.
  • The sauce alone can be frozen separately for up to 3 months, and reheated for a quick meal.

Iranian Style Spaghetti Bolognese

Servings: 6 people
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes


  • 1 pack spaghetti pasta
  • 500 g ground meat
  • 3 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 2 stalks celery, finely minced
  • 2 carrots, finely minced
  • 1 large onion, finely minced
  • 1 large bay leaf
  • ½ inch ginger, finely minced
  • 1 cloves garlic, finely minced
  • 2 tsp turmeric
  • salt
  • pepper
  • pinch saffron
  • ½ tsp rose water
  • ½ tsp sugar
  • cup tomato paste
  • 500 ml strained tomatoes
  • 2 cups water
  • 1-2 medium sized potatoes, sliced
  • 2 tbsp butter


  • In a medium size pot add olive oil and sauté celery, carrots, onions and bay leaf for five minutes. Add the ground meat, and season the meat with ginger, garlic, turmeric, saffron, rose water, salt and pepper.
  • Once meat has slightly browned, add tomato paste, tomato puree, and water. Allow to simmer on low heat for about 45 to 60 minutes.
  • Add water in another medium sized pot and bring to a boil. Add salt and pasta. Cook for 5 minutes until al dente pasta and drain.
  • Once the pasta has cooked, combine the pasta into the Iranian Style Bolognaise mix.
  • In a large pot, melt butter and oil. Arrange the potatoes at the bottom of the pot. Let it fry a little bit. Pour in the pasta mixture. Let it cook for another 30-40 minutes for low heat.
  • Best serve with Salad Shirzi on the side.

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