September 11th, 2014
Exceprt and recipe from The Mom 100 Cookbook by Katie Workman. Photography by Todd Coleman.
Heat a very large skillet over medium-high heat (for this full recipe, it should be a deep 12-inch skillet). 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 melty, about 1 minute. Serve this right out of the skillet.
Cooking Tip: Leftovers can be reheated on the stovetop over medium-low heat, or in a preheated 350°F oven, for 10 to 15 minutes (you may want to add a bit of water if it seems like the macaroni is drying out). If possible, don’t add the cheese until the very end, otherwise it has a way of dissolving right into the casserole and not staying on top in that appealing melty way. If you are serving half of the dish on one day and saving the other half for another, sprinkle one cup of the cheese over half of the skillet, leaving the other half naked for later.