My husband and I were recently reminiscing about childhood meals. In his house fried chicken was made with legs and thighs. At my house, my mother made breasts and legs. Both our mothers made pot roast for Sunday dinners; theirs included canned peas and corn rye from Freedman's Bakery, in Belmar, NJ. Weekdays in our house we had creamed peas on toast and sliced hot dogs in Campbell's pork and beans baked together in the oven as a casserole. While my mother made macaroni with gravy that had meatballs, pork neck bones, sausage and brasciole, his mother made baked ziti with cheddar cheese.
March 26th would have been my father-in-law's 89th birthday. In honor of his birthday, my husband requested a dish his mother made and was one of his father's favorite: Elbow macaroni with ground beef, peas and tomato sauce. As there was no written recipe for this dish, I've come up with my own preparation. From Whole Foods I purchased a pound of ground beef ($4.99/lb.), from Wegmans, Small Shells ($0.79) and Sweet Peas-No Salt Added ($0.49) and from my pantry Niasca Portofino tomato and vegetable sauce.
My husband was in heaven! While not a fancy meal, it certainly was delicious. Using a better quality of beef and imported tomato sauce really dressed this dish up. Although I used several pots in preparation, I wanted all the ingredients to be hot when added to the pasta. It's a nice easy dish to prepare and can be done fairly quickly. You could certainly add minced garlic and onion to the beef and perhaps some herbs, but my mother-in-law was a good basic cook, the less pots the better!
So here's to you Fred Sr., although we didn't have your favorite dessert, lemon meringue pie, we enjoyed reminiscing growing up in the 60's.
A former teacher, shop-a-holic, empty-nester redefining quick, family approved dinners.