This was easy for me. I didn't have to think twice what "go to" recipe I would share. My dad is an amazing cook. He made up the following recipe. I have had this all my life. I never thought twice about the name until I grew up! I make this for friends who have had babies, a death in a family, or for a sick neighbor. I tend to not even give them the name.. I'll mutter that it's a sort of Italian dish. :) Don't let the name scare you.. it really is very delicious and it really is my go to meal!
WHO FLUNG DUNG!
16 oz. dry pasta (I like Cavatappi or twists, macaroni, wheels, etc.)
2 lbs. or more, ground beef (the leaner the better)
1 large onion, chopped
1 green bell pepper, chopped
1 red bell pepper (optional)
1 medium jalapeno pepper, seeded and chopped
3 large cloves garlic
4 cans of stewed tomatoes chopped with juice
¼ cup Ketchup
3 packages Taco Seasoning
2 tbs. chili powder
2 tbs. cumin powder (or to taste)
1 tbs. garlic powder (or to taste)
Salt and pepper (to taste)
Tabasco sauce (if needed for heat and to taste)
1 package (8-12 oz.) grated, sharp Cheddar cheese
Sliced black olives (optional)
Cook pasta until al dente and cool in water until ready to add to sauce. Do not over cook; will continue to cook when baked later.
In Dutch oven, large skillet or wok, brown ground beef. You may need to drain occasionally to remove fat and liquid. Once browned, hold to add later.
While browning meat, in separate skillet add two tbs. olive oil and sauté all vegetables. Cook until tender and add to cooked ground beef.
Add chopped stewed tomatoes with juice, ketchup, Taco Seasonings packages and remaining seasonings. Adjust seasonings with salt, pepper and Tabasco.
Cook until liquid is reduced by 1/4, stirring to mix. Then, add drained pasta and stir through.
Pour into two, 9”x13” casserole dishes (or brownie pans) and cover with cheese. Sprinkle sliced olives over for decoration and flavor (optional).
Bake at 375 degrees, covered with foil for 15 minutes, then uncover and cook for additional 10 to 15 minutes until cheese begins to bubble. Remove and let rest for about 10 minutes. Serve with salad and French bread. Will serve a bunch!
What also great about this dish is that you can freeze it. If I'm making this for just my family I will cook and serve one batch and freeze the other. Just bring the frozen pan to room temperature and cook as directed.