The recipe sits there among our traditional holiday recipes and recipes that have been passed down through multiple generations. My momma has always had a reputation for being a wonderful cook, so anything that has made it into the book has been tried, tested, and perfected. Each recipe has that homestyle taste that evokes those comforting memories of home and Southern hospitality.
The recipe I'm going to share with you today is a reflection of the original my parents made over 30 years ago, but it contains a few changes to suit my preferences. There are three main things that I did differently:
1. I used vegetarian beef crumbles instead of real ground beef. I stopped eating meat when I went off to college and mostly make vegetarian recipes for my family. I know! Shocking. A Southern vegetarian! You are welcome to put in the real deal though.
2. Since I have a garden filled with vegetables and herbs, I used fresh herbs instead of dried flakes. I even pulled some onions fresh from the garden.
3. My parents used a can of tomato paste and water to create their own tomato sauce. I simplified the recipe by using a jar of the NEW! RAGU Homestyle Sauce. It was a delicious substitution that stayed true to the homestyle taste of the dish. I used the Homestyle Thick and Hearty Traditional Sauce, but all of the new Homestyle sauces have been simmered to perfection and have a bold, flavorful taste!
- 1 lb. ground beef (We used vegetarian beef crumbles to make this a vegetarian dish.)
- 1 1/2 cups elbow macaroni
- olive oil
- 1/2 cup onions
- 3-4 large stems of both fresh oregano and parsley (dried flakes can be substituted)
- 1/4 tsp. pepper
- 1/2 tsp. salt
- dash of garlic powder
- 1 jar of RAGU Homestyle Sauce
- Drizzle a small amount of olive oil into the bottom of a large pan. Place your ground beef or soy-based crumbles into the bottom of the pan. Cook on medium heat.
- Fill a large pot with water and add a drizzle of olive oil. Cook the elbow macaroni in this pot according to the instructions on the package.
- Go back to the meat. Once it is cooked, stir in the onions and saute' them for a few minutes with the meat.
- Stir in the fresh herbs, pepper, salt, and garlic powder.
- Pour the jar of sauce into the pan. Reduce the heat and let the mixture simmer together.
- Drain the macaroni noddles and pour them into the pan with the sauce and meat. Mix until the sauce has completely coated the noodles.
- Serve with grated cheese or even an additional sprinkling of fresh herbs.