This dish I had a lot of growing up. Everyone makes it different every time they make it. It is an easy yet delicious meal. It is very filling and warming.

In this recipe, I will give you variations for both meat and meat-free options. I love it both ways and cook both recipes often during the fall/winter months.


1 lb ground lean beef  or 2 cans lentils ( drained and rinsed)
1 onion diced
2 cloves garlic minced
2 cans or 1 large can of crushed tomatoes
1 small can tomato paste
2 cans or 1 large can of diced tomatoes
salt and pepper to taste
1 tbsp dried basil
1 1/2 tbsp dried parsley
2 tsp cumin
2 tsp paprika
3 1/2 cups water
2 large box of elbow macaroni


  1. In a large stew pot combine the ground beef and onions and cook over medium heat until completely cooked through. This usually takes about 12-15 minutes. When the beef is cooked drain the beef through a strainer to remove any of the excess fat from the meat. Return to the pot.
    * for meat-free option add either coconut oil or water to the pot and cook the onions until tender. This takes about 10 minutes. Add the lentils to the pot and heat through. Follow the remaining instructions*
  2. when the pot has been put back on the stove add the cumin, paprika, garlic, and the tomato paste and cook for 2 to 3 minutes to toast the spices.
  3. Add the crushed and diced tomatoes and stir to combine. Add in the water, parsley, basil, salt, and pepper. Stir to combine. let this cook for about 5 minutes before adding in the elbow macaroni.
  4. When you add in the macaroni the mixture will be very liquidy. This is ok. When the pasta cooks it will absorb the liquid.
  5. Stir the mixture and cover with a lid and turn the heat to low. Allow this to cook stirring often to prevent sticking on the bottom of the pan for about 30 minutes.
  6. The mixture will thicken while cooking. when the mixture has finished cooking check for seasoning and adjust to taste. Serve warm with crusty bread



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