When I was growing up, most moms were stay at home moms. We were a family of six, my dad sold insurance on commission so mom had to be creative when it came to making a little meat 'stretch'. When we started having Navy beans and potatoes every day, us kids knew our folks were going through a rough patch.
Mom invented a dish we never bothered to name. She'd cook hamburger, onion and green pepper, drain it, then throw in a can of tomatoes, can of red beans and some cooked spaghetti. When she made vegetable soup, she always had a pot of cooked, drained spaghetti on the side. We'd heap spaghetti in our bowl, then ladle hot soup over it. Great stuff!
Mom made these two dishes to make the meat go farther, pasta is a great meat extender, and I did the same thing when my kids were home, but now I make these dishes because I love them.
I have never served vegetable soup without that bowl of spaghetti on the side, and sometimes my sister and I get cravings for 'nameless', so I'm glad it's quick and easy to make. Talk about comfort food! In this case it isn't at all painful to be frugal.
Amuck from Fairview Heights, IL
My brother and his friends use to eat something like that during their college days except it was Ramen noodles with vegetable beef soup. They called it "Scrounge Salad"
What you described is called Goulash, traditionally a Hungarian dish.
People put their own variations on it, for example we use mushrooms instead of the red beans.
We call that Goulash....Only we use macaroni as well. My husband and family loves it.
This is kinda like Cincinnati Chili. It's usually made without the beans and spiced up like chili.
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