I was feeling a bit like Old Mother Hubbard earlier when I went to figure out what was for dinner this evening. My cupboards are a little bare! LoL 🙂 (A trip to the store is definitely in need!) While trying to decide on what to make, I was reminded that Food Tasters of America were going to be visiting me this evening to do an episode on my cooking. So not only did I have to find something to make from my meager pantry, I was also under pressure to prepare something worthy of the great Food Critics, Nonna and Cana!
Then it hit me!!! The week before, two of my older daughters had mentioned that they had loved my goulash growing up, that it had been one of their favorites. Now I knew I didn’t have any hamburger, but I did have some Italian sausage I could use. Luckily I had some elbow macaroni and all the seasonings I needed, so I was off to cook my heart out for the famous duo! I cut it right done to the wire, but the food was piping hot and ready when they knocked on my door. As they walked through the door, I could see their noses twitch a bit from the wonderful aroma that filled the air, but their eyes stayed cold as steel. Although I have known them both long before they were food critics, they were quite professional with their polite conversation. After the initial small talk, I presented them with their plates of food. I was asked to leave the room as they filmed their critique. I was quite nervous as I sat in the other room waiting. Sweating bullets as my stomach did flip-flops, because I knew their critique could make or break me in the kitchen! I could hear their mumbling and maybe even an occasional giggle as I awaited their judging. I was finally called back into the room and given their decision on my Goulash.
I did it!! I received the highest award that is given by the Food Tasters of America!! It was the proudest moment that a mother/grandmother can have!! The girls had given me 2 thumbs up…5 gold stars and every other kudo they could think of!! 🙂 After hugs and congratulations, and viewing their video clip, off they went to continue on with their evening and their next adventure. While there I stood basking in the glow of my daughter and granddaughters 100% approval. Doesn’t get any better than that!
1 lb. italian sausage, cooked and sliced
12 oz elbow macaroni, cooked and drained
2 small cans tomato paste
3 cups water
1/2 cup diced bell pepper (I had frozen so used that)
1 tbsp. granulated garlic
1 tsp. onion powder
1 tbsp. dried parsley flakes
1 tsp. dried oregano
1 tsp. dried basil
2 tsp. Lawry’s seasoned salt
Place macaroni into pan, add water and tomato sauce and mix well. Add seasonings and cook over medium heat for 15 minutes. Add in sausage and heat for another 5-10 minutes.
You can also use one lb. of ground beef and brown it along with 1 medium diced onion and 1 bell pepper diced in place of the sausage.