When I first moved to the United States at the age of six, there were two food items from the cafeteria that stood out to me. The first was hot dogs. It’s true, I had never tried a boiled hot dog until I immigrated to the US. I will never forget thinking that the combination of the boiled hot dog water and sauerkraut was a smell that I could never get used to.
The other item was macaroni pasta. It seemed like Americans cooked macaroni pasta all the time, or so I thought. Between macaroni and cheese and the goulash served in my cafeteria, I could have sworn that it was served in some form almost every day. It was a pasta shape that I was not familiar with in Portugal, but clearly it was an American favorite.
Hot dogs, orange macaroni and cheese and goulash were not my favorite things as a new to the US first grader. As the years went on and my mother’s kitchen became more Americanized, I did grow to love mac and cheese but really never grew fond of hot dogs or goulash. As luck would have it, I married an American who was crazy about goulash. He said it was a staple in his home growing up and he just couldn’t imagine that this dish wouldn’t be part of the weekly rotation at our home.
As a newlywed learning my way through the kitchen, I tried it his way a couple of times but I could not bring myself to love this dish that brought so much comfort to so many American homes. I realized that part of the problem was that I just didn’t love the macaroni noodle. How un-American of me!
After many attempts, this Uptown Goulash recipe is one that we adore at our house. It is is often served around the family table for Sunday Supper or a crowd-pleasing Weekday Supper leftover. It reheats great and the flavors are more intense the second time around. To me, it is not a true goulash but more of ragu, therefore the uptown name.
Many will claim that the shape and quality of a pasta do not make a difference. I will strongly disagree and urge you to play around with the different shapes depending on what sauce you are pairing with the pasta. And if you have never tried calamarata pasta, you really should. Although this dish is delicious if made with rigatoni or ziti, once you try it with calamarata pasta, you won’t go back. It’s a beautiful thing, the way the hearty sauce is cradled inside the calamarata pasta. Besides, what other reason would we have to name this dish Uptown Goulash? And don’t forget to pick up a loaf of crusty bread. You will need it to mop up the wonderful sauce.
I have had many of my friends reach out and tell me that their photos don’t look like mine when they execute one of my recipes. Guess what, mine don’t either. This is what this recipe looks like when I am making it for me family and I don’t have time to fuss with props and styling (Instagram) . It’s all about the taste and this is one delicious recipe.
I love retro recipes in their original form or as remakes and I am so excited to break bread this week with our amazing Sunday Supper Tastemakers. This event is being hosted by Heather of Hezzi-D’s Books and Cooks and it is guaranteed to bring back memories of our childhood days around the family table.
- 4 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 carrot, finely diced
- ½ onion, finely chopped
- 2 celery sticks, finely diced
- 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
- 2 pounds of ground beef
- 1 can tomato sauce, 28 ounces or 2 cups of homemade tomato sauce
- 1 cup white wine, I use Gallo Family Chardonnay
- Sea Salt and fresh ground pepper to taste
- 1 pound of calamarata pasta, cooked or pasta of your choice
- parmesan cheese, grated and shaved to serve over the pasta
- Optional- olives
- In a large saucepan or skillet, heat the olive oil over medium heat.
- Add the carrot, onion and celery and cook until the vegetables are soft and the celery is translucent. Approximately 10 minutes.
- Add the beef and stir continuously so that the beef doesn't stick together until browned.
- Add the tomato sauce and wine and stir until well blended.
- Simmer on low heat for approximately 1 hour, stirring occasionally.
- Add the cooked pasta to the sauce and stir until evenly coated. Simmer for 5 minutes before serving. Optional - add black olives to the last 5 minutes of cooking.
- Serve with shaved or grated parmesan cheese.
Bodacious Breakfasts and Appetizers:
- Classic Chex Party Mix from Peanut Butter and Peppers
- Healthy Green Goddess Dip from Bobbi’s Kozy Kitchen
- Homemade Donuts from Cosmopolitan Cornbread
Made in the Shade Main Dishes:
- Bacon Individual Meatloaf from The Girl In The Little Red Kitchen
- Chicken ala King from Recipes Food and Cooking
- Chicken and Rice Casserole from Curious Cuisiniere
- Chicken in a Basket from Cindy’s Recipes and Writings
- Chicken Parisienne from Carrie’s Experimental Kitchen
- Chicken Pot Pie from Whole Food | Real Families
- Creamed Chipped Beef on Toast from FoodieTots
- Creamy Baked Pork Chops from Culinary Adventures with Camilla
- Individual Beef Wellingtons from Small Wallet, Big Appetite
- Mom’s Chicken Pot Pie with Cheddar Biscuits from Simply Healthy Family
- Mom’s Shepherd’s Pie from Momma’s Meals
- Ravioli di Magro from Manu’s Menu
- Salisbury Steak with Onion Gravy from Webicurean
- Sweet and Sour Pork Meatballs from Palatable Pastime
- Tuna Noodle Casserole from Sew You Think You Can Cook
- Uptown Goulash from Family Foodie
Swell Side Dishes:
- Broccoli Cheese Casserole with Ritz Topping from NeighborFood
- Creamy Lime Gelatin Salad from Magnolia Days
- Harvard Beets from Take A Bite Out Of Boca
- Retro Crockpot Crabby Soup from Seduction in the Kitchen
- Seven Layer Salad from Lifestyle Food Artistry
- Wedge Salad from Our Good Life
- Bananas Foster from The Redhead Baker
- Creamsicle Jello Mold from Cupcakes & Kale Chips
- Dream Balls from Wallflour Girl
- Hummingbird Cake from Dandelion Greens
- Jello Poke Cake from The Life and Loves of Grumpy’s Honeybunch
- Mom’s Heath Bar Cake from Kudos Kitchen by Renee
- Old Fashioned Banana Pudding from Pies and Plots
- One, Two, Three Jello from That Skinny Chick Can Bake
- Original Mayonnaise Chocolate Cake with No Cook Fudge Frosting from A Day in the Life on the Farm
- Pineapple Upside Down Cake from Eat, Drink and be Tracy
- Raspberry Crunch from Peaceful Cooking
- Tunnel of Fudge Cake from Hezzi-D’s Books and Cooks
The Bee’s Knees Beverages:
- Crème de Menthe Parfait from Food Lust People Love
- Side Car from Nosh My Way
- Vanilla Bean Old Fashioned from The Texan New Yorker
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