About a year ago I was talking about cooking with my dad, when he casually mentioned his favorite meal was American Chop Suey. This completely caught me by surprise for 2 reasons: a) we hardly ever had American Chop Suey growing up and b) my dad is Italian. As in, the birthplace of dishes like Chicken Cacciatore and Fettuccine Carbonara. And not only is he Italian, but he’s Sicilian. La creme de la creme! (please insert appropriate accents) As in, the best food on planet Earth (according to my snobbery). All I could hear was Adam Sandler singing about sloppy joe… really? my dad? So I decided to make it, to find out what the fuss was about. I’m not going to lie, it’s not some secretly exquisite dish for a finer palate. It’s ground beef, and sauces, and noodles, and some vegetables, and a little heat. It’s a hot mess, really. But, aren’t we all sometimes?
Ingredients (make leftovers!)
-1 box of elbow noodles
-1 jar of tomato sauce
-1 small jar of tomato paste
-chopped vegetables (1 green pepper, 2 celery stalks, 1 tomato, a little onion (Hubby loves onion…I tried to add as little as I could get away with) several hot peppers (cherry peppers, or, if your realize while you are cooking this dish that your cherry peppers are over a year expired, hypothetically of course, try some jalapenos))
-1 lb ground beef
Get your pasta water on oventop heat. Chop vegetables. In a large skillet brown your beef. Keep mixing and grinding the beef with a wooden spoon to avoid chunks. Once all the pink is gone, pour out any fat (That’s for you, Tony Horton!). Add the vegetables. Keep mixing. Once the water is boiling add noodles. After vegetables have been on the heat for at least 5 minutes, add the sauce and paste. Keep mixing. Remove cooked noodles and drain. Mix everything together. Top with cheese. MMM… lunch lady land.