Ground Meat with Elbow Pasta

Source:  Opa Guido; cir. 1970’s

Ground meat and elbow pasta

It's funny how you form associations with food to people.  This is definitely the case with this recipe.  It was first made by my father-in-law, Guido upon his first trip visiting us in the U.S.  One evening, he decided to prepare us a delightful meal.  His food prep was quite impressive, and boy, did he know how to fine-dice an onion!  A few years past after his visit to the u.s., and we in turn, visited our in-law's in Greece, which is where they retired.  He again made us his famous dish and once again, I loved it!  He sent me home with his heritage recipe-typed up on a sheet of paper.  I learned that he was taught this dish from his mother, so I'm sure, this recipe dates back to the mid 40's at least.  It's not a unique or secret recipe per say, but it's well combined and I think how a family makes a recipe is reflective of the time.   Well, here it is.  Every time we make this lovely dish, we remember our times with my now late father-in-law, and each time, it's made in his honor!  I hope you get complete satisfaction and praise for this dish.  It's a special one and a family favorite! 
Course 2 Main Course
Cuisine Swiss
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes
Servings 5 people


  • 1 onion fine diced
  • 2 cloves garlic fine diced
  • 5 tbs olive oil
  • 2 cups chicken stock or 1/2 L water with 1 cube chicken bouillon
  • 2 tbs cornstarch
  • 1 lbs ground meat
  • 1 pinch black pepper
  • 3 pinches salt
  • 1 tbs oregano chopped
  • 1 tbs rosemary chopped
  • 750 gr ellbow pasta (Hörnli)
  • 1/2 cup red wine
  • 2 tbs tomato puree


  • Dice your garlic and onions
  • Turn on the stove and warm your olive oil in the sauté pan. Add your onions, garlic and fresh diced herbs.
  • Add your salt and pepper (pink Himalayan salt and fresh ground pepper) sauté until translucent
  • Add your ground meat and cook until meat is ready, about 3-5 minutes.
  • Then add 1/2 cup of red wine to mixture (for color and taste) let the wine cook down (about 1-2 minutes)
  • Next, have your chicken stock or bouillon ready to pour. Before pouring, add cornstarch to liquid and stir with a whisk until lumps are smoothened out. Mixture should be well combined.
  • Pour liquid into the meat/onion mixture. Be sure pot is on a low boil. Cook all ingredients until well combined and it begins to thicken slowly. If you wish to enhance the color by adding your tomato puree, do it now and add 1 or 2 Tbs tomato puree. Otherwise, sauce will remain a light meat color.
  • Your pack of pasta.
  • Add noodles to boiling water and a pinch of salt. Boil for 5-10 min, or until al-dente.
  • Place the pasta on the plate and pour sauce over noodles, and serve immediately. Feel free to sprinkle on graded Gruyère cheese for a nice Swiss flavor or a nutty Parmesan! Enjoy!
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