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I was so out of ideas the other day; I did not know what to make for dinner. I looked through the pantry and the refrigerator to see what I could come up with. Several cans, spices and herbs brought me to the original recipe I present here. It was delicious and I know it may become one of your favorites. It is a make-ahead dish that you can double or triple the amount for a large crowd like a unit party or getting together with the friends and neighbors that will be arriving in SaddleBrooke for the winter. Also, you can experiment with other ingredients and change the recipe to your liking. Enjoy!

My Italian Goulash

¾ lb. ground sirloin

Salt, pepper, basil, oregano, garlic powder, parsley flakes

1 can Del Monte zucchini

1 6-oz. can tomato sauce

1 6-oz. can water

1 sm. can sliced mushrooms

8 oz. mini farfalle (or your choice of another pasta)

Parmesan cheese

  1. Sprinkle salt in a medium skillet; no need for oil. Brown meat in the skillet and when just a little pink is left, sprinkle salt, pepper, basil, oregano, garlic powder and parsley flakes on top of the meat and stir into it. I just sprinkle and do not measure so use your own tasteful judgment.
  2. Add the zucchini, tomato sauce and water and stir into the meat mixture. Add and stir in the mushrooms.
  3. In a separate saucepot bring water to a boil and add the pasta.
  4. The mini farfalle is a nice looking pasta for this meal but you may prefer something else like ziti or penne. I serve the pasta in a hot buttered casserole dish and the meat sauce in a separate covered casserole dish so we can serve ourselves.
  5. Add some Parmesan cheese and hot buttered garlic bread and you have a superb meal.

Dessert is always special and this night we used Champagne flutes filled with vanilla ice cream and floated green Crème de Menthe on top. If you haven’t tried this yet, you are in for a real treat. It tops off any meal with grandeur and, by the way, mint helps digestion!

Note: Instead of tomato sauce, if you have leftover spaghetti sauce, it’s even better.