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American Chop Suey (Goulash)

25 Jan

A lot of families have their own Goulash recipe. Mine is of the tradition of Cole Farms Restaurant in Maine – a dish going by the name of “American Chop Suey” in those climes.

1 16 oz box macaroni noodles
1.5 lbs lean hamburger meat
2 tbsp Worcestershire
1 can diced tomatoes
1 jar tomato sauce of choice
2 tbsp italian spices (oregano, basil, rosemary, etc.)
1 red bell pepper, chopped
1/2 sweet onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tbsp olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste

Boil noodles according to instructions. Meanwhile, in a large skillet, saute bell pepper, onion, and garlic in the olive oil. Once vegetables are crisp-tender, transfer to a bowl and set aside. Using the same skillet, brown the hamburger meat, seasoned with salt, pepper, and Worcestershire. Drain and return to skillet, add sauteed vegetables. Add diced tomatoes (do not drain), tomato sauce, and italian spices – stir to combine. Set heat to medium and simmer, uncovered, for 10 minutes.

When the noodles are cooked, pour tomato sauce/meat/vegetable combination over noodles and stir well to combine. Serve with fresh grated cheese, crusty bread, and a salad.

To make this a “One-Pot Wonder”, simply cook the noodles first and drain.  Use the pot to follow the remainder of the recipe, then add the noodles back into the pot and stir to combine.

Zucchini Tomato PERK with Pasta Spirals

25 Jan

I actually came up with this recipe right out of my little own head. You really need to trust me on this – it may sound like a somewhat odd combination of ingredients, but it’s truly, truly good. PERK stands for Peperocini/Edemame/Roasted Red Pepper/Kalamata Olives. I’m so cute.

2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 cup sweet onion, diced (optional)
2 tbs. cold pressed olive oil
2 medium zucchini, sliced thin
1 medium summer squash, sliced thin
1 can Hunt’s Diced Tomatoes with Balsamic, Basil, and Olive Oil (or two medium diced tomatoes, two tbsp. balsamic vinegar, 1 tsp. basil, 1/4 cup water)
1/4 cup light white wine, or chicken broth
1/2 cup shelled cooked edemame (prepare frozen edemame in microwave according to package directions)
1/4 cup kalamata olives, sliced
1/4 cup roasted red peppers, diced
2 peperocini peppers, de-stemmed, drained, and diced (optional)
salt and ground pepper to taste
1 tbsp. corn starch, dissolved in 2 tbsp. water
whole wheat pasta spirals

In a large skillet, saute garlic and onion in olive oil until golden. Add zucchini and squash, saute until softened. Add canned tomatoes, edemame, olives, roasted red peppers, peperocini peppers, and wine or broth. Bring to a simmer, cover, and cook for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Meanwhile, cook pasta to al dente, drain, and rinse with warm water.

Add corn starch dissolved in water to sauce/zucchini mixture, a little at a time and stirring constantly, until the mixture has reached desired thickness. Serve over warm pasta spirals.

To make this a “One-Pot Wonder”, simply cook the noodles first and drain, then use the same pot to prepare the recipe, stirring the noodles back in at the end.

Tomato Herb Penne

25 Jan

A very quick and easy dinner. Serve with salad and crusty bread.

2 tablespoons oil
1 clove garlic, minced
1 medium onion, chopped
1 (28 oz) can diced tomatoes or 4 medium tomatoes, diced
1 teaspoon sugar
1 teaspoon dried basil
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 cups penne, uncooked
1/2 cup half-and-half

Saute onion and garlic in oil. Add tomatoes, sugar, basil, oregano, salt. Bring to a boil, then simmer 20-25 minutes. Meanwhile, cook pasta, drain, and rinse.

Stir half-and-half into sauce and heat through. Top pasta with sauce, or combine pasta and sauce to coat.

To make this a “One-Pot Wonder”, prepare the pasta first and drain, then use the same pot to prepare the sauce.  Combine the pasta into the sauce and heat thoroughly.