This is a recreation of a dish I loved as a kid. It started off as a way to use up leftover hamburger, but it's become something that I'm happy to take a special trip to the store to stock up for. It's probably the meal I make that comes the closest to "bachelor chow" - the kind of meal somebody could contentedly eat day after day after day without severe nutritional deficiency. I don't recommend such things, of course, but it feeds Kristin and me for a solid few days, at least. Cheap, easy, and tasty - it may not be beautiful, but give it a chance and you'll be hooked.
The ingredients are a simple lot. Ground beef is our protein - I usually go for 80/20 for plenty of flavor. Bell pepper and sweet onion add some vegetable matter, along with the sweet corn which I brilliantly left out of the picture - oops. Canned tomato sauce adds nice flavor and binds everything together. You can stick with plain tomato sauce and spice it as you like, but I usually just start from a base of Pizza sauce for this one. Salt, pepper, and some Italian seasoning fill out the flavor. And, of course, we'll need some pasta to add substance. Macaroni is my go-to here.
For starters, get your water boiling. Use a nice, large pasta pot, as we'll eventually combine all the ingredients in it.
This is important: Undercook the pasta! No, really. If the box says 8-10 minutes, cook for 7, tops. It'll be chewy, but we'll finish it in the sauce.
Now for knife work. Dice the bell pepper finely. We want the veggies in small enough pieces that every bite will contain some.
Dice the onion as well, then set your veggies aside.
Brown the beef in a large skillet over medium-high heat. A large skillet is important here - we'll be adding a lot of ingredients.
Once the beef is browned, remove it from the skillet and set it aside for a few minutes. If there's a great deal of grease left in the pan, remove all but a tablespoon or two. Add all of the vegetables and sautee until tender, about 5-6 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.
Time to retrieve the beef and open up the sauce. Once the veggies are nice and tender, add the beef and two cans of tomato sauce to the skillet. Season with a generous amount of Italian seasoning. If you don't keep a blend on hand, go for garlic, onion powder, basil, and oregano.
Take your undercooked pasta and drain it well. You undercooked it, right? Good. Just checking. Now that your pasta pot is empty, it's time to put everything together.
In the large pot, combine the pasta with the contents of your skillet. Mix well and cook over low heat just a couple of minutes until the pasta is finished. Give it a taste and adjust seasonings as needed.
Add a generous handful of cheese over the top of your "glop" as soon as you serve it, and it will have melted by the time the plate makes it to the table. Serve hot. It will stand up fine by itself, but some fresh fruit on the side sets things off nicely in the summer.
Recipe: Burger Glop
Prep Time: 5 minutes | Cook Time: 10-20 minutes | Difficulty: Easy | Servings: 6-8
In a large pot, cook pasta 1-2 minutes shy of directions on package. Drain and set aside.
Dice onion and bell pepper finely.
Brown beef in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Set aside. Drain excess grease, retaining 1-2 tbsp.
Reduce heat to medium. Add onion, bell pepper, and corn to skillet. Season with salt and pepper. Cook 5-6 minutes until vegetables are tender.
Add beef, pizza sauce, and Italian seasoning to skillet. Simmer 3 minutes.
Return pasta to pot. Pour skillet contents into pot and mix well. Cook 2-4 minutes over medium-low heat until pasta is fully cooked.
Add a handful of shredded cheese after plating. Serve hot.