- ow macaroni
- 1 1/2 pounds ground chuck
- 1 medium onion, chopped
- 2 medium garlic cloves, minced
- 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
- 1 teaspoon seasoning salt, like Lawry’s
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper, freshly cracked
- 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon Cajun seasoning, like Slap Ya Mama, or to taste (optional)
- 2 small bay leaves
- 1 (8-ounce) can tomato sauce
- Pinch granulated sugar (optional)
- 2 (14.5-ounce) cans diced tomatoes, undrained
- Red pepper flakes, optional
Preparation time 10mins
Cooking time 30mins
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, sauté the ground beef uncovered until done; drain off any excess fat. Add the onion and garlic and continue sautéing about 5 minutes. Add the Italian seasoning, seasoned salt, pepper, Cajun seasoning, and bay leaves; stir. Add the tomato sauce, undrained diced tomatoes 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.
Cook’s Notes: For a cheesy variation, cube 1/2 cup of Velveeta and stir in just before serving, until melted and creamy.