SOUTHWEST SPAGHETTI GOULASH

When I was a little girl growing up in Texas I remember one day seeing a new family moving in across the street and all I could think about was "I wonder if they have any kids my age" – and before the day was over, I found that they had a girl my age and a boy two years older.  The three of us were BFFs before the moving van left.  A few days later I was in their home playing jacks with the girl when their mother said that dinner was ready.  She asked me if I wanted to eat with them and I told her I couldn't unless she asked my Mom.  She called my Mom and my Mom said I could eat with them and thanked her.  They were having something I had never eaten so I asked what it was and they told me it was Spaghetti Goulash.  Well, it was the best thing I had ever tasted and I wanted to know what was in it.  After I had a third helping, I knew it was my favorite dish so when I got home I told my Mom about it.  She said I could make it if I wanted to.  I was nine years old but I could cook – in fact, I made better biscuits than my Mom.  So the next day, I made the recipe.  It didn't taste as good as it had at my neighbor's house, but my family loved it. So it became a staple in our home and as long as the family lived across the street, I was always invited to have dinner with them when they had Spaghetti Goulash.  An aside is that after the family moved to Houston, we kept in touch and some years later, the "boy" in that family and I were married and we had two children.  Our kids loved this dish and when they started cooking, of course they tried it, but they always said it wasn't as good as mine.  Now  many years later, my grandson is cooking it and he says he can't make it like his mother made or like I make it, but I think his goulash tastes just fine!!  So here is the recipe and you can use as much chili powder as you like!

1 pound ground beef 1 large onion, chopped in small pieces
2 small cans of diced tomatoes salt, pepper and chili power to taste
3 cups spaghetti broken in small pieces          2 tablespoons vegetable oil

In a large frying pan (if you have a cast iron one that is great) heat the oil and crumble the ground beef into the pan.  Stir until the beef is brown, then add the diced tomatoes,salt and pepper and chili powder and turn the heat to simmer.  While the meat is simmering, bring a large pot of water to a boil and cook the spaghette al dente.  When the spaghetti is ready, drain and add to the tomato and meat mixture.  Mix thoroughly and let simmer until most of the liquid is absorbed by the spaghetti.  It is now ready to eat but if you allow it to sit until all of the ingredients are well blended, it tastes much better.  It can be reheated and also any that is left over can be frozen. Makes 4 large servings or 6 small.

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