Today I am making an old WV favorite. I haven't made it for years and years. Let me give you a little background...
Many years ago when I was a young girl living in WV we ate macaroni and tomatoes. As a matter of fact it was the first solid food I ate after having my tonsils removed when I was 18 and a college Freshman.
Anyway, my sophomore year I moved into an apartment and ended up staying in that same cozy little apartment with the same roommate until I got married during my last year of school. Lo and behold, my roommate grew up eating macaroni and tomatoes as well. Both of our families made it with home canned tomatoes and macaroni sweetened with a little sugar. A WV delicacy I suppose.
My roommate came from a more rural area of the state than I did with only one bank in her entire county. Because of this neither one of us ate at restaurants very often. We cooked. We took turns based on our class (and my work) schedules. Her family always supplied us with meat. We had the most well stocked freezer in the apartment complex. We also always had canned foods...not store bought but garden grown and pressure cooked in glass jars. Both of our families kept us supplied in jellies, jams, vegetables, homemade hoagie sauce with garden tomatoes and of course tomatoes. Everyone always wanted to hang out at our place because we had "real food".
We developed our own recipes for macaroni and tomatoes because it gave us something else to do with ground beef and made it more of a meal. It became one of our favorite meals, especially in cooler weather. For some reason I have been thinking about her and about macaroni and tomatoes lately and the old craving kicked in. Here's my version with a few modern tweaks (minus home canned tomatoes, plus olive oil and fresh cloves of garlic):
Sondie's College Days Macaroni and Tomatoes
Saute green pepper, onion and garlic (however much you like) in olive oil until tender. Add this to tomatoes in a big stew pot. (I used large cans of Furmano's crushed, diced and whole Italian plum-it is about tomatoes after all.) Salt, pepper and a few dashes of sugar. Simmer a bit.
Then add elbow macaroni cooked al dente and ground beef that has been fried and drained. It should be a fairly thick mixture with just about equal parts macaroni and tomatoes and beef. Simmer a bit... then gather a few friends and eat.
I am making a big pot this evening to share with friends. It is on the stove simmering now. My husband didn't like it years ago and I haven't made it since I had my daughter 10 years ago. I hope my friends will fall for it so I have a reason to make it more often. If you read the post prior to supper time come on by...I have pumpkin pie for dessert!