Not to rush the end of summer (I would never!), but I’m getting pretty excited for fall dinners, leggings-based outfits, 60 per cent less boob sweat, and a little cookbook launch party I hope you’ll attend if you’re in Vancouver. (I hope we can get to Winnipeg, Toronto, and elsewhere – stay tuned! If your local bookstore, pannenkoekenhuis, or licorice parlour wants to talk boeterkoek and bitterballen, drop me a line!)
In the meantime, while the temperature has dropped slightly ahead of another summer heatwave, I’m in the mood for macaroni. This recipe, a family friendly Dutch weeknight dinner not unlike American Goulash or a fancy take on Hamburger Helper, is a one-pot weeknight staple for us; I use whole wheat macaroni in mine because no one here seems to notice and, you know, fibre.
(Makes 6 to 8 servings.)
- 1 lb lean ground beef
- 1 tsp kosher salt
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1 onion, diced
- 1 red bell pepper, diced
- 2 carrots, peeled and diced
- 2 celery stalks, diced
- 3 garlic cloves, roughly chopped
- 6-oz can low-sodium or no-salt-added tomato paste
- 1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
- 1 tsp grainy Dijon or Dutch mustard
- 1 tsp ground black pepper
- 1/2 tsp smoked paprika
- 1/2 tsp dried oregano
- 1/2 tsp dried basil
- 14 oz dry macaroni
- 4 cups low-sodium or homemade chicken stock
- 4 oz shredded Edam cheese
In a large pot on medium, brown beef with salt in olive oil for about 5 minutes. Remove meat from pot and set aside. Drain off all but 2 tbsp grease.
Add onions, bell peppers, carrots, celery, and garlic, and sauté for about 4 minutes, until colors have brightened and vegetables are shiny. Stir in tomato paste, Worcestershire sauce, mustard, pepper, smoked paprika, oregano, and basil, and coat vegetables.
Return beef to pot. Add macaroni, and stir well. Add chicken stock; liquid should just cover mixture. If not, add a cup or two of water.
Bring contents to a simmer, and cook 10–12 minutes, until macaroni is tender.
Add Edam and stir until melted. Serve immediately.
Dutch Feast is currently available for pre-order from Arsenal Pulp Press, Amazon.com, Amazon.ca, and other fine online retailers; order online to receive your copy this fall, or purchase it from your favourite local bookstore in November, 2017.