my grandmother’s favorite dish

Tradition is the foundation of my kitchen. So many dishes come from ones cooked by my grandmothers while I watched with starry eyes. Over the years I have added to my recipe collection but I have always held dear our family favorites. They may not be the fanciest (think egg noodles with cottage cheese or chopped meat and scrambled eggs!) but we love them none the less. Today would have marked my Great Grandma Zam’s 108th birthday. She’ll be celebrating in heaven  but she’s still in our hearts and in my kitchen.

Grandma Zam's favorite dish

Grandma Zam’s favorite dish

They say that dishes get “flavored” through use and this is one of my favorite ones. I can’t count the number of casseroles, meatballs, lasagnas, and so on that have been baked in this dish but I do know that everything I make in it always seems a bit more magical. It was a staple in Grandma’s kitchen and now in mine. I’ll cook in it for my children as she did for hers. With trusted Elsie and Elmer by its side, anything I make, can’t go wrong. So remembering my Grandmother and wishing her the happiest of birthday’s, it may not be exact, but here’s the Conti households’ Grandma Zam’s Macaroni and Beef.

Classic and heartwarming :)

Classic and heartwarming 🙂

I can see these two dancing around like something out of Beauty and the Beast when the kitchen lights go out!

I can see these two dancing around like something out of Beauty and the Beast when the kitchen lights go out!

Ingredients:

1 box elbow pasta

2 can tomato soup

1 lb ground beef

1 small onion, chopped

2 cloves of garlic, chopped

1 bay leaf

1 cup cheddar cheese

2 TBS Worcestershire

Salt and pepper to taste

EVOO

Directions:

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Bring a large pot of water to a boil and cook the elbows until just al dente.

Meanwhile, in a large skillet heat over medium-high heat. Drizzle with EVOO. Add in the onions and garlic to the pan and cook for 4 minutes until the onions are just starting to turn translucent, being careful not to burn the garlic. Add in the beef, Worcestershire, and 1 tsp of both salt and pepper. Cook through, about 8 minutes.

Can't go wrong with meat and garlic in a pan!

Can’t go wrong with meat and garlic in a pan!

Lower the heat to medium and add the tomato soup and bay leaf. Stir to combine and warm through.

Bay leaves give a great subtle hint of flavor

Bay leaves give a great subtle hint of flavor

Remove from heat and add in cheese. Stir until melted completely. Bake covered for 30 minutes, until bubbling and beginning to brown on the edges.

Uncover at the last few minutes for a crispy top

Uncover at the last few minutes for a crispy top

This dish is the perfect go to for a cool November night. The memories in it fill our house with love and warmth. I’ll be dedicating dinner to you Grandma Zam, with a little bit of orange jello and some cool whip to go with it 🙂

Sweet tomatoes, hearty beef, and salty cheese make the perfect trio!

Sweet tomatoes, hearty beef, and salty cheese make the perfect trio!

Eat Well,

Stephanie a.k.a. The Foodetarian a.k.a. Loving Great Grand-daughter

2 responses to “my grandmother’s favorite dish

  1. This looks so yummy, but I don’t use canned soup. What do you suggest as a substitute?

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