I've mentioned the Beany Malone Cookbook before and given the recipe for Beany's Beans. I thought I had posted this recipe for a helper-like dish before, but I don't see it in our archives. Like Beany's Beans and like our Kitchener Special, this recipe (which we had for supper last night) does not use gourmet ingredients. In fact, the number of recipes we make that include ingredients like ketchup is kind of embarrassing. Not particularly healthy or fashionable, I know. But this one is good, inexpensive, and husbands and young squirrels like it, so I'm passing it on, with a couple of adaptations.
Dulcie's Macaroni Meal in a Skillet
2 tbsp. bacon fat (we leave this out)
1 lb. ground beef or ground chicken (it's good with chicken; in a pinch we have even used bacon)
1 medium onion, diced
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. pepper (or less, to taste--we don't like that much pepper)
1/2 tsp. paprika
1 8-oz. can tomato sauce (or equivalent anything else like tomato puree; last night I used part of a can of diced tomatoes and added a little extra water)
1 1/2 cups water, or as needed (depending on how wet the tomatoes are)
1 tsp. prepared mustard
1 rounded tsp. brown sugar
1 tbsp. cider vinegar
1/2 cup ketchup
2 cups elbow macaroni (we used whole wheat)
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese for serving (optional. We were out of Parmesan, so I grated some Cheddar and mixed that in before serving.)
This is how I do it. Because the list of spices and things is kind of long, I combine the salt, pepper and paprika with the cupful or canful of tomato sauce (just dump them in the top of the opened can). I put the mustard, sugar and vinegar into the half cup of ketchup. I chop the onion and start browning the ground meat in a large skillet that has a cover; when it's almost done I stir in the onion and finish browning it. When the onion's soft, I add the tomato sauce mixture. The recipe says to rinse the tomato sauce can out with the 1 1/2 cups of water and add that to the skillet. (If you don't have a tomato sauce can, obviously you just measure out the water and add that.) And then add the ketchup mixture.
Stir it all together, bring it to a boil, and then add the two cups of macaroni. Let it boil for a minute or two, and then cover (if you haven't already), turn the heat down, and cook for about 1/2 an hour or until the macaroni is done. You can check it occasionally and add more water if necessary. Mix in grated cheese if you want, or serve with Parmesan at the table.
You can also add canned grean beans or mushrooms to this skillet meal; we've done both. Mr. Fixit likes to add hot sauce at the table.