Well, I cooked for the first time for my hosts and friends here in Minnesota. For my first experiment in feeding them, I chose a staple of my mother’s own repetoire, the very easy dish that our family has always called Chop Suey, even if it is really a goulash. And I have changed the recipe a bit from my Mom’s basic template.
This is the recipe I used, with some proportional changes. I found that this time I made too much meat source versus pasta, and if you want to try this yourself, you’d likely want to start small anyway.
You will need:
1 pound of ground meat. I usually do 1/2 ground chuck and 1/2 ground round beef, but you could do it with turkey, possibly even veal.
1 15 oz. can diced tomatoes
I personally like things like S&W or Rotel diced tomatoes, since they have a kick to them.
1 10.5 oz. can tomato soup.
(that’s the big change from my Mom, she uses 2 cans of tomato soup and 1 can of water, mine is less saucy)
1 can of beans, or Mexicorn or chili beans
(again my Mom doesn’t bother with this but I like the added nutrition and flavor)
1 box of Pasta
I prefer Barilla, or Ronzoni. You want to use pasta that holds the sauce well and soaks it up a bit–things like Rotelle, Rotini, Medium Shells, Farfalle. You don’t want to do spaghetti, but you can do it with Ziti.
Spices to taste–I usually use Chili Powder, Oregano, Garlic Powder and others as available. The advantage to this dish is that you can make it any amount of heat you want.
1. Brown Ground Meat with spices, drain fat if desired.
2. In the meantime get a pot of water for the pasta boiling. I recommend adding salt and a little oil to the water.
3. Add the canned tomatoes, tomato soup (or tomato soup and water) and beans to the meat, mix together well, and simmer for at least 30 min.
4. In the meantime get your pasta cooked as per normal.
5. Once both are complete, combine together well in a bowl, and serve with bread and a salad. Italian Bread, French Bread or rolls work really well, especially to soak up the soupier standard version.
Serves about 4-6. It depends on appetite.