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Tomato Beef Macaroni

My husband and I now live in a home where the water is kind of bad, and I have talked to at least one of you, where the water price is really high.


This is another thrifty-tip that will help save on water, no matter where you live, and depending on the cost of water, it will help save you money.

Since my husband and I have lived in this house, and the water isn't very good, we have been buying gallons of water from places like Wal-Mart, well, it's expensive, especially if you want to make something with pasta.

So, on my own, I have figured out some ways to make pasta without it costing a fortune. Now, I haven't tried this with long pasta, like spaghetti, or linguine, or the big lasagna noodles, although I think that might eventually get figured out, too, but what I have found out, is like a supper I made for us tonight:


  • 1 lb. of cooked, frozen hamburger
  • 3 cups of water,
  • 2 cups of macaroni noodles
  • 14 - 14.5 oz. of tomato puree, or spaghetti sauce
  • salt and pepper


Add water to frozen hamburger and cook over medium heat. Once the hamburger is no longer frozen, and the 3 cups of water starts to boil, add macaroni noodles, and stir it quite a bit. Then add tomato puree and salt and pepper to taste.

If you only have long spaghetti noodles, linguini noodles, or other big noodles, break them up before adding to the hamburger and water.

At first my husband really liked it with just a little more salt and pepper, but then he said, he'd rather have a small can of spaghetti sauce added, and I told him I was just trying it out, and that we could add a little basil, oregano, parsley, and onion and garlic powder.

I bought the tomato puree on sale, and the macaroni, and together they cost about 98 Cents.

By using small kinds of pasta like macaroni, or other small types of pasta, you don't need large amounts of water to stir long pastas like spaghetti, linguine, angel hair, or big pieces like lasagna pasta, and even these can be broken into small pieces to use in a small amount of water.

I used about 3 cups of hot/slightly boiling water to about 2 cups of macaroni noodles, and yes--I did stir quite a bit, but I didn't need huge amounts of the water,and didn't need to strain, then I added about a 14 or 14.5 ounces of tomato puree, and kept stirring for awhile, and my husband did want more salt and pepper, but this is the first time I ever made this, and my husband does want it again.


I did not waste or throw out one bit of water, and I think I was at least as frugal as hamburger helper, and cheaper. Because the hamburger was already frozen, it probably took about one hour to make it. If the hamburger was thawed already, it would probably take around 25 minutes to make it, and we made about 2 to 2 and 1/2 quarts of tomatoey beefy macaroni!

I would love your input!

Source: Me! I'm the source for this tip, and I hope it really helps any of you! I started this all by myself, and truthfully, I do think we should try things like bay leaf, parsley, basil, oregano, and onion and garlic. But, we will leave that up to you, and you tell us how you like this basic recipe! I love this basic recipe because it is so cheap. Will you please tell me, and especially how you like cooking pasta, without having to drain the water. Love You Bunches!

By Carol L. from South Bend, IN

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November 17, 20090 found this helpful

When I prepare a meal like this, in my family we call it goulash. I brown the hamburger, some onion, green or red peppers, celery and drain all the grease out, then I add the pasta (macaroni) and add whatever type of tomato product I'm going to use. I also add a can of diced tomatoes and a can of whole kernel corn. That makes it a complete meal. I also add whatever water is necessary to keep it moist until the pasta is cooked. I figure if Betty Crocker can do it this way with her Hamburger Helper products, I can do it too.

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November 18, 20090 found this helpful

Sounds terrific. Add to the tomato puree a little balsamic vinegar, 2 tbsp of olive oil, a few cloves of crushed garlic and 1 tbsp of sugar to cut the acidity and sweeten. Then mix in with the beef. It tastes better than bottled sauces.

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November 18, 20090 found this helpful

You just invented Hamburger Helper!

I do the same, but not because I worry about the cost of draining one pot of pasta water, I just think the dish ends up tasting better because all the flavors of the meat and tomato and seasonings end up cooked into the noodles, instead of just salted water. Makes great leftovers!

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November 18, 20090 found this helpful

This really sounds good. My friend just broke up with her bf who would make this and not share recipe. He called it goulash he added oregano and little bit of jalapenos. Now I can make it myself, thank you.

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