Monday, April 16, 2007

Monday's Recipe: Mom's Beefaroni

I often find myself talking with friends about our mother's cooking. My mother was not the most "exotic" cook, shall we say. Yes, she baked well, she could do nice dinner parties, but the everyday meal was often routine. It wasn't until I went to college that vegetables could have texture and were not served limp and from a can or a box from the freezer.

As I learned to cook for myself, there were some things my mother made that I would make for myself. Some I improved upon and some I would make "just the way that mom made" because that's how I wanted it.

My son has taken to my mother's recipe for Beefaroni (not Seinfeld beef-a-reeno, mind you). It's very simple and I like it and still make the dish, just the way mom did.

"Mom's Beefaroni"
  • 1 lb. ground beef
  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped
  • a few cloves of garlic, finely chopped or pressed
  • 1 large can whole tomatoes
  • 1 cup elbow pasta

Put the onions and garlic in a large pot to cook (with a little olive oil). Add the ground beef and brown, until all the pink is gone. Season to taste (I add a little salt and pepper, some oregano).

Add the tomatoes and mix together, breaking up the tomatoes (you can use diced tomatoes, but I like the bigger chunks of tomatoes).

When mixture begins to simmer, add the elbows and stir well. (You can use another small pasta, if you like, but Mom always used elbows.) Cover and set on low heat for about 10-15 minutes until pasta is soft and tender. Serve. (I freeze small containers for my son to eat at mealtimes.)


Anna van Schurman said...

My mom used tomato sauce instead of tomatoes and added green pepper.

When she made it with rice instead of pasta, she called it "Texas Hash." (Don't know what's so Texas about that--but don't get me started, she used to make something called "Chinese Pot Pie" that had not one single Chinese ingredient.)

Anonymous said...

This was called "goulash" in our house. The version with rice instead of elbows and green peppers was called "Spanish rice".

Goulash was the only casserole-like food that we ate on a regular basis. We kids hated the rice version (I think it was the green peppers, which mom loves and the rest of us hate, especially cooked).

afelker said...

In our house this was called Hungarian Goulash (or was it ghoulish?). Still not like any other Hungarian goulash I've since had, but then that was the 70s -- comfort in the exotic!