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This is one of my mom’s fall-back recipes. It’s far from fancy, but it’s comfort food for me. Slumgullion means “beef stew” according to Webster, but this is more like proto-hamburger helper, since my mom was making “slum,” as we called it, back in the 60’s. Mom liked green bell peppers, but I like the sweeter red or orange bell peppers. My health issues incline me to use less pasta than Mom would have, but the more you add, the more you’ll feed. As it is, it’ll feed an army. And it ought to cost you less than $10 to make, too.

2 lbs. ground beef, browned
2 T olive oil
1 large onion, diced
1 large bell pepper, diced
1 can diced tomatoes, with juice
1 T oregano
2 cloves garlic, minced
8-16 oz. elbow macaroni, cooked until softened

salt and pepper to taste

  • Get the water boiling for the macaroni, and make sure it’s well salted.
  • Brown the meat until it’s dark and crusty and pour off the grease.
  • When the water is boiling, add the pasta, and cook according to the package — about 10 minutes.
  • Add the olive oil in with the meat and add the onions, peppers, and oregano. Cook until soft.
  • Add the garlic and cook it for a minute, and then add the tomatoes and all the juice.
  • Toss in the drained pasta, and mix well.

It’ll take about twice the salt than you think it ought to, and it’ll be better for it.