I was going through old issues of Everyday with Rachael Ray looking for easy recipes for this week that used ground beef when I came across a recipe for meat goulash. It was in a section for 30-minute TV dinner-style meals and was paired with Savoy cabbage, so I thought I'd give the whole menu a try.
The result was amazing:
... and I knew it was a keeper when SP (who was wary of the cabbage as it was cooking) practically inhaled his first serving before jumping up from the table to get seconds.
Meat Goulash with Macaroni
Slighty Adapted from Everyday with Rachael Ray
1 pound short penne rigate
3 slices bacon, chopped
1 pound ground beef
3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 small onion, finely chopped
2 teaspoons paprika
Freshly ground pepper
1 11-oz jar roasted red peppers, drained
3 tablespoons tomato paste
2 cups beef broth
1/2 cup sour cream
Flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped
Bring a large pot of water to a boil, salt the water, add the pasta and cook until al dente. Drain the pasta and set aside.
While the pasta cooks, heat a large, deep skillet over medium-high heat. Add the bacon and cook until crisp, about 3 minutes, then move the bacon to the side of the pan and add the ground meat, crumbling it. Brown the meat for 3 to 4 minutes, then add the garlic and onion; season with the paprika and salt and pepper to taste. Cook until the onion is softened, about 5 minutes.
In a food processor, puree the peppers until smooth and stir into the meat. Add the tomato paste and cook for 2 to 3 minutes, then stir in the beef broth and simmer for a couple of minutes. Stir in the sour cream and cooked pasta. Top with the parsley.
The cabbage recipe called for caraway seeds, which I didn't have on hand, so I just bought a small head of Savoy cabbage, removed the outer leaves, cored it and sliced it thinly. In a skillet I melted 3 tablespoons of butter over medium heat, added a bay leaf and the sliced cabbage, salt, pepper and about 1/4 cup of the pasta cooking water. I covered the skillet and let it steam for about 10-15 minutes, stirring it every few minutes.
And for dessert:
...two yummy cupcakes and a tall glass of ice-cold milk.