Upstate 'Goulash' from How to Cook Gluten-Free

March 20, 2012

This simple pasta dish goes by many names across the county including--but certainly not limited to, American Chop Suey and Johnny Marzetti. Growing up, we called it 'goulash.' Whatever you want to call it, this pasta dish is easy to prepare and remarkably tasty! 



The goulash recipe is from my new book, How to Cook Gluten-Free. I'd be thrilled if you ordered it! Here's the link. It's also available at booksellers nationwide.


Several bloggers sampled this recipe to celebrate the book launch! Here's the list of bloggers that participated. Visit their blogs to read about their experience with the recipe!

Upstate Goulash

Nonstick cooking spray
1 pound gluten-free elbow macaroni
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 medium onion, finely chopped
1 pound 93% (extra-lean) ground beef
1 clove garlic, minced or put through a garlic press
1 can (28 ounces) tomato sauce
6 ounces cheddar cheese, grated (about 1 1/2 cups)



  1. Preheat the oven to 375ºF. Lightly spray a 13 by 9-inch baking dish (or a large oven-proof dish) with nonstick cooking spray.


  2. Fill a large pot three-quarters full with water. Cover and bring to a boil over high heat. Set a colander in the sink for draining the pasta. When the water reaches a boil, add 1 tablespoon salt and the pasta. Stir with a wooden spoon for about 30 seconds, then stir occasionally while the pasta cooks.


  3. In a large nonstick frying pan, heat the oil over high heat until hot and shimmering but not smoking. Add the onion. Cook, stirring frequently with a wooden spoon, until the onion is soft, about 3 minutes. Add the garlic and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Cook, stirring frequently, until soft and aromatic.


  4. Add the ground beef and cook, breaking up the clumps with a wooden spoon or heatproof spatula, until thoroughly cooked and browned, about four minutes. If desired, remove and discard any excess fat.


  5. Stir three-quarters of the tomato sauce into the beef. Lower the heat to low. (This is a good time to check the pasta if you haven't already.)


  6. After about 10 minutes of boiling, check the pasta for doneness. Drain the pasta in the colander and return it to the cooking pot.


  7. Add the meat sauce to the pasta and stir with a wooden spoon to combine. Pour into the prepared baking dish. Top with the remaining tomato sauce and sprinkle evenly with the cheese.


  8. Bake until the cheese is golden brown and the sauce is bubbling, about 15 minutes.


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