Inevitably, there are weeks when I just don't get around to making a menu and I have to stop at the store on the way home from work in order to get the makings of some sort of dinner. This was one of those weeks. I have a handful of recipes that I know by heart and these are my default. The most popular at my house is Goulash.
This is one of the few recipes that I grew up eating that I still make, using a tweaked version of what my mom used to prepare. On many occasions, I made it for my college roommates and it always got rave reviews. One dear friend still makes it for her family and calls it "Courtney's Goulash," which makes me feel far more important and flattered than I probably should. So, for those harried nights when you need a go-to, easy, but warming meal, here's Courtney's Goulash.
Courtney's Goulash (Based on Betty's Goulash)
2 cans tomato bisque soup
1 lb. pasta of your choice (I prefer rigatoni)
1/2 an onion, diced
1/2 a green pepper, diced
2-3 garlic cloves, minced
1 lb. ground beef
Oregano, salt, and pepper to taste
1. You will have three pans going on your stove at the same time. First, start a large pot of salted water to boil for the pasta. Cook pasta al dente according to directions on box.
2. Meanwhile, crumble fry hamburger in a large skillet until brown. Season with salt and pepper.
3. At the same time, melt fat of your choice (I use bacon grease) into another skillet over medium heat. Saute onions, green pepper, and garlic until soft. Season with salt, pepper, and oregano.
4. After draining pasta, return to large pot. Add hamburger and sauteed vegetable mixture. Add tomato bisque. Stir until pasta is well coated.
5. Transfer mixture to a 9" x 13" baking dish. Top with freshly grated Parmesan cheese. Cover with aluminum foil and bake at 350 for 30 minutes.
Makes 6 or so servings.