This recipe is from the Serious Eats website and was created by J. Kenji Lopez-Alt. He calls it American Chop Suey, but I've always known it as goulash. In all honesty, it's never been one of my favorite foods, though I do have fond memories of my grandmother making it. My husband requested something with macaroni, tomatoes, and ground beef, though, and I immediately thought of this recipe that I had bookmarked months ago!
This recipe does not disappoint. It is by far the best goulash I have ever had and I don't really see bothering with any other version of the recipe. How could it not be good with all the pockets of melted mozzarella? Cheese aside, it's just an awesome recipe with lots of well balanced flavor, especially for a recipe that takes less than an hour to make. My husband and I both rated it 9 out of 10, which is of course very good!
I mostly stuck to the original recipe, but it calls for letting the macaroni soak in hot water before draining it and adding it to the skillet. A lot of recipe reviewers said this made the macaroni very mushy, which I of course wanted to avoid. I compensated by just adding the uncooked noodles right to the skillet and letting it cook for a bit longer. Perfect! I also used one can of whole tomatoes and one crushed, but that was an accident, apparently the crushed tomatoes were hiding behind the whole ones on the grocery store shelf. This probably didn't make a huge difference in the outcome, but crushed tomatoes are definitely thicker/richer than pureed whole tomatoes. Next time I'll try using all whole tomatoes, but I have zero complaints about how it turned out!
2 T olive oil
2 T butter
1 large onion, finely diced1 bell pepper, diced
1/4 C fresh parsley, minced1 Tbsp dried oregano
1 lb ground beef2 28 oz cans whole tomatoes, blended until smooth (I used 1 whole, 1 crushed)
2 T Worcestershire sauce
1 lb dry macaroni noodles
salt and pepper to taste (I used 1 tsp salt, and 1/2 tsp pepper)1 lb mozzarella cheese, cut into 1/2 inch cubes
Raise heat to high and crumble in ground beef. Saute until meat is cooked through. Add tomatoes, broth, and Worcestershire sauce, and bring to a boil. Stir in macaroni, reduce heat to a simmer, cover, and let cook 7 minutes.
Stir, add salt and pepper to paste, then quickly stir in half of the mozzarella cubes, just enough to evenly disperse the cheese. Evenly top with the rest of the mozzarella and half of the parmesan. Cover the skillet, reduce heat to the lowest setting, and cook 3 minutes without stirring. Remove skillet from heat and let sit 5 minutes more.
Remove lid, sprinkle with remaining parmesan and parsley, and serve with Worcestershire sauce.