Speaking of my Aunt Buzz (you will recall we left her in the cellar with her flashlight, deck of cards, and bottle of vodka during yesterday’s storms), I have another quick fix from her stash of recipes – zanzetti! I have no idea where the name comes from, but it’s a nice recipe to have in reserve for those days when you want comfort food or something quick and, like me, you don’t make it a habit to have any of those ‘helper’ things in the pantry. In truth, this isn’t too far removed from the helpers; it just calls for the basics and allows you to spice it up as much or as little as you like. I tend to add a lot of chopped onion, garlic and peppers to the ground beef while it’s browning, thereby reassuring myself that we are getting at least a bit of vegetable with the meat and noodles. Rounded out with a nice salad, it makes for a fast, easy, but really tasty dinner.
•1 pkg Macaroni and Cheese Dinner (we use the blue box – you know the one)
•Milk and butter (for the mac and cheese)
•1 can tomato soup
•1 lb ground beef
•Onion, peppers, garlic, ‘shrooms; whatever you like really
Brown ground beef with chopped onions, peppers, etc. and black pepper to taste. Drain.
Boil macaroni, drain and make according to package instructions. Stir in the tomato soup and ground beef/onion mixture. Season with pepper, Italian seasoning, or whichever herbs you like. Heat through and serve.
For a different take on this, you could try a jar of pizza sauce in place of the tomato soup, and maybe add some black olives at the end…