Multicultural slumgullion

One slumgullion, four ways

2 cups (500 mL) uncooked elbow macaroni
1 lb (500 g) ground beef, turkey, chicken, lamb, pork or veggie ground meat substitute
2 medium carrots, diced
2 stalks celery, diced
1 large onion, chopped
28 oz (796 mL) can diced tomatoes
1 cup (250 mL) frozen peas
1 tsp (5 mL) salt
¼ tsp (1 mL) black pepper

Cook the macaroni in a pot of boiling salted water until almost (but not quite) tender. Drain and rinse under cold running water. Set aside.

In a large saucepan or Dutch oven, combine the ground meat, carrots, celery and onion. Cook over medium-high heat, stirring to break up clumps, for 8 to 10 minutes or until the vegetables begin to soften. Add the cooked macaroni, the tomatoes (including all the juice from the can), peas, salt and pepper. Bring to a boil. Stir well, cover and lower heat to medium low. Continue cooking, stirring once in a while, for about 10 minutes or until the carrots are tender and the flavours blended. (If making a vegetarian version
of this dish, cook carrots, celery and onion in a bit of olive oil until they soften, then add all the remaining ingredients except the meat substitute; add it at the end of the cooking time and heat through before serving.)

Makes 4 to 6 servings.

Variations:

Chinese Slumgullion
Substitute frozen stir-fry vegetables for the peas and carrots in the basic recipe (throw them in when you add the tomatoes and pasta). Add 2 tbsp (30 mL) soy sauce just before serving.

Italian Slumgullion
Omit the peas and, instead, add 1 chopped green or red pepper and 2 cloves minced garlic, along with the onions, carrots and celery. Add 2 tbsp (30 mL) chopped fresh basil and 1 tsp (5 mL) crumbled dried oregano along with the tomatoes. Sprinkle with grated Parmesan cheese before serving.

Mexican Slumgullion
Omit celery and peas. Add 1 chopped green or red pepper and 1 tbsp (15 mL) Mexican chili powder with the onions. Add a
19 oz (540 mL) can kidney, pinto or black beans with the tomatoes. If desired, add some cayenne pepper. Sprinkle with shredded cheddar or Monterey Jack cheese before serving.

Kids can
• Help chop vegetables.
• Add pasta and stir (with adult supervision).