Friday, November 11, 2011

American Chop Suey

Work in progress ...

Did you go to a public school in New England? If so, there was definitely one dish that you ate often, and probably with pleasure, in the school cafeteria.

Besides being a staple of K-12 lunchrooms, it also appeared at church socials, potlucks, soup kitchens, picnics, roadside diners, tailgate parties and home dinner tables across the northeast. And still does.

Beyond these six states, however, mention of this dish will usually evoke utterly blank stares and a question. "American Chop Suey? WTF's that?"

Well it's deliciousness defined. Comfort food refined. And here's how it goes.

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon butter
1 large yellow onion, finely chopped
1 medium green pepper, seeded and finely chopped
1 medium red pepper, seeded and finely chopped
1-1/2 cups celery, diced
1-/2 pounds ground beef
3 cloves garlic, minced and crushed
1 28-ounce can whole peeled tomatoes
2 15-ounce cans tomato sauce
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1-1/2 teaspoons sugar
2 teaspoons crushed red pepper flakes
Italian herbs
soy sauce
Salt and paper, to taste
1 pound box elbow macaroni
Freshly grated Parmesan cheese, to top


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