Macaroni (Persian Spaghetti)

In Iran, we call all types of pasta, Macaroni! It can be spaghetti, fusilli, penne, farfalle, or any other type of pasta, for us they are all Macaroni in different shapes! For example, farfalle is called butterfly macaroni and fusilli is called spiral macaroni.

Also, we treat pasta like rice! To prepare it we go through the same procedures as we do to prepare rice which means that pasta is not only simmered in boiling water, but also steamed after being cooked. Another thing is that the sauce prepared for different kinds of pasta is always the same. It is a mix of meat, onions, bell pepper, mushroom and tomato paste which makes it quite similar to Bolognese sauce.

It might sound weird to steam pasta or cover the bottom of the pot with potatoes (as you will see in the recipe), but at the end you will love the awesome taste of macaroni and crispy potatoes, I guarantee that.

Serves 4 People
Prep time
Cook Time
1h 0m


  • 400 Grams
    spaghetti noodles
  • 1 Pound
    ground beef
  • 1
    medium onion, diced
  • ½
    bell pepper, diced
  • 6
    white button mushrooms, sliced
  • 4 Tablespoons
    tomato paste *or 1 cup of tomato sauce
  • 2
    medium potatoes, peeled and sliced
  • 1 Teaspoon
  • ½ Teaspoons
    black pepper
  • ½ Teaspoons
    oregano *optional
  • 1 Teaspoon
    salt (for spaghetti)
  • 1 Teaspoon
    salt (for meat sauce)
  • water
  • vegetable oil


  1. In a large frying pan, heat 2 tablespoon oil over medium heat. Add chopped onion to the pan and saute until soft.

  2. Mix in diced bell pepper and saute until tender.

  3. Add ground beef and stir until well mixed and brown.

  4. Add turmeric, salt, oregano and black pepper to the mixture and stir until well mixed.

  5. Add sliced mushrooms to the mixture. Saute for about five minutes until soft.

    IMG-20150307-WA0001 (Medium)
  6. Add tomato paste and stir for 1-2 minutes. When you notice the color of the paste changing (to a red-orange color), it is done.

  7. Add 1/3 cup of water, lower the heat and let cook until water is evaporated.

  8. In the meantime, in a large pot bring water to a boil and add salt to it. Cook spaghetti 2-3 minutes less than the time suggested on its package instructions, strain and set aside.

  9. In a sauce pan (big enough to fit pasta/sauce), heat 2 tablespoon oil on medium heat. Add 1 layer of sliced potatoes to cover the bottom of the pan.

  10. Add a bit of pasta on potatoes and then a layer of the meat sauce. Keep layering until you've used all of the pasta and sauce.

  11. Decrease heat to low, cover the lid and cook for 45 minutes. After 45 minutes, stir the spaghetti and serve. Don't forget to scrape the potatoes from the bottom of the pan and serve beside the spaghetti.


5 reviews for Macaroni (Persian Spaghetti)

  1. MyKabulKitchen


    One of my friends growing up (she was Palestinian) her father actually used to make this dish for us…he learned it from an Iranian friend in college…I remember it so well and years later I realized it was simply Pasta with Tahdigi at the bottom!! Seeing this recipe brings back sweet memories :-)

    • Marzie


      I´m happy it brought some nice memories back to you. This food is quite popular among kids specially when its made with the crispy potato tahdigs.

  2. Marry


    Quite tasty! I used gr. turkey instead of beef & added some garlic while browning the turkey. I halved the recipe. Next time I will add a bit more sauce. Thank you for the recipe.

  3. Vicky


    This was absolutely delicious! And much easier to make than I thought.

    • Marzie


      Thank you Vicky

  4. Bonita


    I have made three things so far from your site and I love EVERY single dish so much. So far, the chicken, meatballs and tonight spaghetti! Please keep the recipes coming

    • Marzie


      Hi Bonita, Thanks for the feedback. I´m trying my best to find some free time and upload new recipes.

  5. Melodie


    Absolutely yummy! My only issue was getting the potatoes off the bottom of the pot. Is there a slice thickness that works best?

  6. Shira


    Really easy to follow recipe and it turned out delicious!!

  7. Krikra


    My boyfriend is Iranian (I’m german) and he was always talking about this dish, so last night I surprised him with it and he was so so happy about it. It was delicious :)

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