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My mother used to make goulash quite often when I was growing up and frankly, I’d completely forgotten about it until I was flipping through my copy of “The Household Searchlight Recipe Book” from 1931. I had some ground chuck to use up. My eye fell on this goulash recipe and suddenly, I was flooded with memories of my mother’s concoction-delicious beef and noodles and her killer ingredient-green olives!

Goulash is pretty awesome. For one thing, it never has to be the same. It’s like meatloaf-you can add pretty much whatever you’ve got in the frig if you like. If you follow the basics, it’ll be yummy. It’s quick to make, taking about a half an hour from start to finish. And you don’t have to be a cooking genius to make it turn out all right.

I used the “Hungarian Goulash” recipe in the book as a base but added a few of my own touches, including mom’s green olives, which were not included. Thank goodness I had a jar on my pantry shelf! Here’s how I did it:

• 1 pound ground chuck
• 1 teaspoon minced garlic
• ½ medium onion, diced
• ½ pepper, any color, diced
• 2 carrots, peeled and diced
• 2 tomatoes diced or one can diced tomatoes
• 1 cup green olives with pimentos, cut in halves
• 2 ½ cups water
• 8 ounces radiatore pasta, or any short, decorative pasta
• 2 tablespoons flour

Spray large skillet with cooking spray. Heat to medium and add garlic. Stir for one minute, then add ground chuck and cook until partially done (half brown and half pink). Drain grease.

Add all vegetables, olives, and the water. Bring to a boil. Reduce to medium-low, cover, and simmer for 15 minutes.

Add pasta. Simmer for an additional 15-20 minutes until pasta is tender.
Add flour and mix to thicken. Serve!

My girls thought this was a delicious dinner and they ate the leftovers the next day in their lunches. Enjoy!