20 April, 2018
Love Hungarian Style… Converted To Italian Style Goulash
Do you have a favorite “go-to” meal that you just have to have when you are not feeling well? Soups have such a calming and nurturing effect. Chicken soup is a popular favorite for many people. How about good old Campbell’s tomato soup? That is also on the list of top soups for the sick.
We returned from a recent trip to Mexico. I brought home a nice tan. Hubby brought home some bug that has him coughing night and day, he has no voice (that has its advantages at times) and is just feeling miserable. His “go to” soup when not feeling well is tomato soup. I wanted to kick it up a notch to get a little protein and more flavor into a homemade soup so I started adding ingredients. What I ended up with was actually a loosely defined type of goulash, Italian style of course!
“Goulash is a soup of meat and vegetables, seasoned with paprika and other spices…Its origin traces back to the 9th century to stews eaten by Hungarian shepherds. Back then, the cooked and flavored meat was dried with the help of the sun and packed into bags produced from sheep’s stomachs, needing only water to make it into a meal.”
Well, let’s skip the Medieval version and try for an Italian version. Since I didn’t have a lot of time, (the laundry from two vacations back-to-back was piled up, grocery shopping needed to be done, etc.) I tried a shortcut when putting the ingredients together. I didn’t cook the pasta separately. I can almost hear a big “gasp” go out from seasoned cooks and Italians. However, some of you may have a large question mark hovering above your head asking “what does she mean by not cooking the pasta separately?” I’ll explain. In most recipes where pasta is added, it is pre-cooked and added at the end. That way the pasta is the perfect texture and will absorb the flavor of the other ingredients before being served without becoming an over-cooked gummy, mushy mess.
So was I skeptical about skipping this important step (YES!), and would I still get a good tasting goulash? Surprisingly, yes! I was particularly apprehensive because about a year or so ago I tried a Martha Stewart recipe that cooked the pasta along with the other ingredients – it was unedible! (Sorry Martha but true.)
Since hubby doesn’t have a discerning pallet when it comes to cooked pasta (he’s not Italian so has his own version of “al dente” pasta), and time being of the essence, I decided to give it a try.
Saute onions and hamburger.
Add wet ingredients: tomatoes, beef broth, wine.
I can’t believe I’m saying this….. add raw pasta. These were mini penne pasta so they have a quicker cook time.
Ta-da! A tasty and protein-packed substitution for tomato soup. Hubby ate and enjoyed it, and that was the goal.
- 1 lb ground beef or turkey
- Generous drizzle extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 small to medium onion (yellow, or white), chopped (I used sweet Vidalia)
- 2-3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 1/2 cups beef broth
- 1 tablespoon tomato paste
- 1 (15 oz) can tomato sauce
- 1 (15 oz) can Italian tomatoes
- 1/3 cup red wine
- 1 3/4 cups mini penne, uncooked
- 1/2 cup parmesan reggiano, grated
- 1 tsp dried oregano
- 1/4 to 1/2 tsp dried parsley
- 1/2 tsp dried thyme
- 1/4 tsp Wegman's Tuscan seasoning* (optional)
- 1 tsp paprika (If using Wegman's Tuscan seasoning, decrease paprika by half)
- Kosher salt
- Ground black pepper
- Drizzle olive oil in a large frypan. Sauté onions to golden.
- Add hamburger and minced garlic to onions. Season with salt and pepper. Cook until hamburger is no longer pink.
- Pour tomato sauce, diced tomatoes, tomato paste, wine, and beef broth into pan. Sprinkle additional seasonings to pan. Bring to a simmer.
- Add pasta and stir frequently until pasta is tender (about 15 minutes).
- Stir in cheese and serve.
- Garnish with more cheese and fresh parsley.
- *Wegman's Tuscan seasoning is a combination of seasonings - salt, mustard flour, pepper, allspice, chili pepper, coriander, turmeric, cayenne pepper, nutmeg, cardamom, fenugreek
- Using this seasoning is optional - the goulash still tastes great without it!