Elementary Macaroni

Yesterday was Josh’s birthday and one of the meals he requested I make for him was Elementary Macaroni. This is a recipe by Justin Wilson that Mom and Dad saw on his television program on  PBS in the 80’s. When I was a kid I hated this recipe but now it is definitely a regular in my rotation. I’m not sure if I grew up or if it was just the addition of mint (that was always my theory as a kid) but I definitely like this recipe now. The recipe as written makes a ton of food so I usually halve the recipe and that is what I’ve posted here.

1 pound ground beef

1 cup chopped onion

1/4 cup chopped bell pepper

1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley or 3 tbsp dried

1/2 pound elbow macaroni, cooked and drained

1 cup tomato sauce

1/4 cup red wine

1/2 tbsp Worcestershire sauce

Salt to taste

1/4 tsp crushed dried mint

Tabasco sauce and cayenne pepper to taste

1/2 tsp garlic powder

mise en place

Cook the pasta according to the directions, drain, rinse, and set aside.

Brown the ground beef over medium heat, draining if necessary. Add the onion and bell peppers and cook until the onion becomes clear. The parsley was supposed to be added at this step but I measured it out with the rest of the spices. I think if you are using fresh parsley you should make sure to add it at this point, but I don’t think it really matters if using dried.

Once the onions have softened, add the macaroni and mix well. Add the remaining ingredients and stir to incorporate.

Reduce the heat to low and simmer for 30 minutes. I sometimes give this a stir at the halfway point because I have burnt the bottom before and it is difficult to clean.

The finished product

Serve with a glass of wine and a piece of crusty bread if you have it. I also like to put the bottle of Tabasco on the table as I never make this quite hot enough for my taste! This recipe freezes pretty well and I think it is one of those recipes that tastes better as leftovers.

This recipe was adapted from the Elementary Macaroni recipe by Justin Wilson.

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