- 1-1/2 cups of dry elbow macaroni
1-1/2 pounds of ground chuck
- 1 medium onion, chopped
- 2 medium garlic cloves, minced
- 1 teaspoon of Italian seasoning
- 1 teaspoon of seasoning salt
- 1/2 teaspoon of freshly cracked black pepper
- 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon of Cajun seasoning, optional
- 2 small bay leaves (I omitted)
- 1 (8 ounce) tomato sauce (omitted the diced tomatoes & uses a 29 oz can of sauce)
- Pinch of granulated sugar, optional
- 2 (14.5 ounce) cans of diced tomatoes, undrained (I omitted)
- Red pepper flakes, optional
- 1 can whole kernel corn, optional
Cook the macaroni according to the package directions for al dente. Reserve two cups of the pasta water; drain macaroni and set aside. Meanwhile, using a lidded skillet, saute the ground beef uncovered until done; drain off any excess fat. Add the onion and garlic and continue sauteing about 5 minutes. Add the Italian seasoning, seasoned salt, pepper, Cajun seasoning, and bay leaves; blend. Add the tomato sauce, undrained diced tomatoes, corn and sugar, scraping up any browned bits in the bottom of the skillet. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to simmer, cover and cook for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Add the cooked, drained macaroni, and stir in enough of the reserved pasta water as needed to loosen; continue to simmer until pasta is warmed through, adding additional pasta water as needed. Sprinkle with red pepper flakes if desired, stir, remove from heat, discard bay leaves and serve immediately.