Serves: 8 (with leftovers). Preparation time: 15 minutes. Total time: 45 minutes. Cookbook author Katie Workman suggests making a vat of this skillet meal and storing it in the fridge.
2 pounds lean ground beef
1 tablespoon olive or vegetable oil
1 cup chopped red, yellow, orange or green bell pepper
1 cup chopped carrots
1 cup chopped onion
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1 teaspoon dried basil
2 teaspoons dried oregano
2 cans (28 ounces each) crushed tomatoes in juice
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
2 to 3 teaspoons chili powder, optional
Kosher or coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
3/4 pound dried elbow macaroni
2 cups grated cheddar cheese
- Heat a very large skillet (12 or 13 inches) over medium-high heat. Add the beef and cook it until browned, stirring until no pink remains, about 5 minutes. Place the browned beef in a strainer and let the fat drain off, then set the beef aside.
- Wipe out the skillet, add the oil and heat it over medium heat. Add the bell pepper, carrots, onion and garlic, and cook until almost tender, about 5 minutes.
- Return the beef to the skillet and add the basil, oregano, tomatoes with their juice, Worcestershire sauce, chili powder if using, and 2 cups of water. Season with salt and black pepper to taste. Increase the heat to high and let come to a simmer. Add the elbow macaroni, stir and cover the skillet. Reduce the heat to medium and let simmer, stirring occasionally, until the macaroni is tender and most of the liquid has been absorbed, 8 to 10 minutes. Taste for seasoning, adding more salt and/or black pepper as necessary.
- Sprinkle the cheddar on top, then cover the skillet and cook until the cheese is melted, about 1 minute. Serve right out of the skillet.
From "The Mom 100 Cookbook: 100 Recipes Every Mom Needs in Her Back Pocket" by Katie Workman.