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Mama’s Kicked Up Goulash

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  • 1 lb ground beef
  • 1 hot Italian sausage link, casing removed
  • 1/2 cup seasoned breadcrumbs
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/4 cup freshly ground Pecorino Romano cheese
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt or ground sea salt
  • 1 cup diced yellow/Spanish onion
  • 2 celery stalks, halved lengthwise, then sliced thin
  • 1/2 cup chopped green bell pepper
  • 2 large garlic cloves, diced
  • 1 15 oz can tomato sauce
  • 1 15 oz can stewed tomatoes (basil/garlic or onion/garlic flavor)
  • 1/4 teaspoon table salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon Hungarian paprika
  • 1214 turns fresh ground black pepper
  • 1/4 cup water
  • Olive oil
  • 1 lb box Cavatappi pasta (short tubed corkscrew pasta with ridges)


  1. In medium bowl, combine first 7 ingredients (beef, sausage, bread crumbs, egg, Pecorino Romano, pepper, and kosher salt). With hands, combine until mixed well.
  2. Preheat a couple of turns of olive oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add meat mixture to skillet and brown meat, stirring occasionally. (about 5-6 min) You want it to be a little browned, not just cooked.
  3. When meat is cooked through, put meat in a bowl or plate and set aside. Reduce heat to medium and add the onions, celery, and green peppers to the skillet, stirring occasionally. (about 4-5 min)
  4. Meanwhile, fill large pot with water and add about 1 teaspoon of salt to water. Boil water and cook pasta according to package directions. When cooked, drain pasta.
  5. When onion mixture has cooked for about 4-5 minutes, push mixture to the sides of the skillet, creating another hole in the center. Add 1 tablespoon oil to center of pan. Add garlic to the center of skillet and cook for 30 seconds, then add back in the browned meat and stir. Add tomato sauce, stewed tomatoes, water, paprika, 1/4 teaspoon table salt, and fresh cracked pepper to skillet and stir to combine. Reduce heat to simmer and simmer for approximately 20 minutes or until pasta is done. As it is simmering, break up the stewed tomatoes into smaller pieces with a spoon or spatula. When the sauce is almost done, taste the sauce, if it needs more salt or pepper, add it now.
  6. After draining pasta, add pasta to skillet and stir until well combined. (Or you can mix everything together in a large bowl if your skillet will overflow.)
  7. Serve hot.


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