Macaroni and Tomatoes

Macaroni and tomatoes with kilt greens and fried potatoes

 Macaroni and tomatoes is a common mountain-region side dish. Although there are many variations, the dish typically consists of cooked macaroni and canned tomatoes.

So simple, yet so delicious. At first glance pasta with canned tomatoes sounds pretty plain and boring compared to the Italian tomatoes sauces I’m used to having with pasta, but somehow a little bacon grease and some butter transforms this into a meal just as delicious.

Really there’s not a lot more to say about it. It’s another slightly more modern addition to the Appalachian table, made with cheap ingredients that became readily available in grocery stores during the 20th century. It’s a nice accompaniment to a soup beans dinner.

As you can see I grated fresh parmesan over it. I’m sure the powdered stuff in the green can would be more traditional, but I’m a little picky about my cheeses, and had a block of real parmesan in the refrigerator already.

Macaroni and Tomatoes

Serves: 4-6
Prep: 5 minutes
Cook: 25 minutes, plus time to boil water
Total: 30-45 minutes

2 ¼ cups dry macaroni
2 teaspoons bacon drippings
1 14 oz. can diced tomatoes
1 14 oz. can whole tomatoes, broken up
⅓ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon black pepper
½ teaspoon sugar
1 ½ Tablespoon butter 

Parmesan cheese

5 oz. tomato sauce
1 ½ Tablespoons margarine, in place of butter. 

Cook macaroni to al dente in boiling salted water, according to package directions (about 6 minutes). Drain and set aside.

Heat bacon drippings in a pot and add canned tomatoes with their juice, salt, pepper, and sugar. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer for about 10 minutes, until liquid is somewhat reduced. Add pasta and cook another 5 minutes or so, until heated through and liquid is absorbed. Stir in butter and serve with parmesan cheese. 

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