Who doesn’t remember the lunch room staple of yesteryear, American Chop Suey? At least, that is what we call it here in New England. Made of pasta, tomato sauce, and beef, what is not to like? To me, it is a little taste of nostalgia.
The American Chop Suey of my past always had green pepper. I don’t mind green pepper, but it doesn’t like me. I usually omit it in my cooking, but American Chop Suey just isn’t the same without it. I use only a small quantity to provide a subtle hint of pepper, but not so much that it overpowers the dish. My healthy twist on this dish is hidden veggies and a low glycemic, high fiber macaroni.
American Chop Suey
16 oz. elbow macaroni (I use Dreamfield brand with high fiber and low glycemic index)
1 lb. ground beef
1/2 onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 large carrot, finely chopped
1/3 of a green pepper, diced
4 oz. mushroom, finely chopped
1 (28 oz.) can crushed tomato
1 (15 oz.) can tomato sauce
1 1/2 tsp. dried oregano
2 tsp. sugar
1.5 to 2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. black pepper
1 tbsp. olive oil
8 oz. fresh mozzarella cheese, sliced
Preheat large saucepan on medium high heat. Add olive oil. Add ground beef and brown using a wooden spatula to break apart into small crumbles. When beef is almost entirely brown, add carrots and cook for 3 minutes, stirring frequently. Stir in the onion, mushroom, green pepper, garlic, oregano, salt and pepper. Cover, reduce heat to medium low and simmer for 8 – 10 minutes. Add crushed tomato, tomato sauce, and sugar. Cover and allow to simmer for 15 -20 minutes. Adjust seasoning to taste.
Boil pasta according to package direction, but drain when it is al dente (has a slight chew). Do not cook all the way as it will finish cooking in the sauce.
Add pasta to sauce. Transfer to a large oven safe casserole dish or proportion into smaller dishes. Top with desired amount of mozzarella cheese. Broil until cheese is bubbly and slightly brown.