Well ... this is a recipe that I started from scratch ... had no idea what I was doing at the time ... LOL ! But over the years with constant experimenting ..... it is now one of my most requested meals by both " Family and Friends ".
In fact most of our grandkiddos, if they hear that they are coming over, respond with " Sure ... We'll come over ... is Pop-Pop going to make his Goulash ? "
When I first started making this recipe I always made a " Big Pot Full " but over the years my wife and I both really enjoyed it as well but that " Big Pot Full " would sometimes go to waste ... so I started making this " Smaller Version " for our dinner.
Now when I made this " Smaller Version " I was having trouble figuring out how much " Sauce " to use ..... and the first time I made it it had more sauce that my larger version. But then my wife decided she liked it that way ..... and that's now the way I make this " Smaller Version " for us !
- They help all the flavors to cook through your meal better making it more delicious ...
- Within about an hour the " smell of the meal cooking " slowly spreads across the whole house ...
- The smell actually creates an " anticipation " in everyone for the meal to come ...
- And we all know that the " smell of food cooking helps us to enjoy the food as much as taste ! "
My wife's favorite Spaghetti Sauce ( and my grandkids as well ) is " Ragu - Flavored with Meat " which comes in a 45 oz. size which is what I use ... ( Pop-Pop actually likes other brands better ... but I'm just the husband and Pop-Pop so that doesn't matter ). Using 2 - 24 oz. jars will even make it a little more saucer .....
You can also cook this meal without a " Slow Cooker ". And the directions for cooking that way are as follows:
- Add spaghetti sauce, sugar, basil, italian season, pepperoni, minced garlic, black olives, ( dried minced onion if using ) to 4 quart size pot.
- Turn your burner on medium-low to start heating up your sauce.
- While your sauce is starting to heat up cook diced onion & burger in olive oil in a frying pan until burger is no longer pink.
( See Tip #3 )
- Then add your burger & onion ( drained ) to your sauce and stir.
- Then turn your sauce and burger mix to low or simmer and heat for about 1/2 hour - Stiring when needed to avoid bubbling.
- While sauce is simmering cook your macaroni in a medium-large soup pot to the texture you desire.
- Once macaroni is cooked, turn burner off, and drain it and then place macaroni back in the same pot on the same burner.
- Stir your sauce together with the macaroni, cover, and let stand ( without the burner on ) for at least 5 minutes for sauce to combine with the macaroni.
- And then serve topped with grated Parmesan Cheese and .....
Now ... I know this takes " a little more time " ... however its actually a " great cooking technique " and one of my tricks for this meal and others as well. Whenever I'm cooking onion and burger ahead of time ( and that includes celery when needed ) to include in a meal like this one this is what I do:
- I add the oil to my pan ...
- Then I add the diced onion to my pan ... ( and celery when called for in a recipe )
- Then, " by hand ", I break apart the burger into small bite sized pieces and place it on top of and covering the onion ...
- Then turn on the burner to medium-low and slowly start cooking ...
- Since it takes longer to actually cook the onion this give the onion time to soften up quicker ...
- And also helps the onion flavor to slowly rise into the burger itself ...
- Once I see the burger starting to change color then I start mixing it all together until the burger is no longer pink.
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