Cultural divide Casserole

It’s cold here. Yes, it’s the South and I am a big baby about cold but I swear: it’s actually cold.

And cold, of course = comfort food.

This is where the cultural divide comes in. One of my favorite comfort foods is a dish my mother used to make:
~ ground beef, browned and drained
~ cooked pasta, usually elbow macaroni
~ red sauce, pretty spicy with lots of garlic and Worcestershire sauce
~ cheese, usually mozzarella and Parmesan

Everything is mixed together in a casserole dish and baked at 350 for about 40 minutes with a little extra cheese melted on top at the very end of the cooking. My mom called this Italian casserole.

My husband, The Yankee, calls this goulash.

Say what?

Goulash in my house involved runny-nigh-onto-watery tomato sauce with whole tomatoes and it involved egg noodles. Yeech.

So, my Italian casserole — what would you call it?

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15 thoughts on “Cultural divide Casserole

  1. rlberry says:

    Hmm, I think I am with you. To me, it sounds like a simple baked ziti, only with elbow mac. So, I would probably call it “baked macaroni” or something. I grew up in Michigan, but never really knew what goulash was.

    My husband also grew up in Michigan, although his mom was from Massachusetts. I asked him if he had any concept of what goulash was, and he said, “Ummm, some sort of Eastern European stew thing?”

    That’s probably what I would have thought, too – so here’s 2 votes from non-Southerners for your side!

  2. teentim says:

    My brother and I used to call it “Burger mac”. My Mom would make this often because as she put it “It’s cheap and good for you. Now shut up and eat.” LOL

  3. lhershey says:

    I’ve had this before and made it myself. It’s just like spaghetti or ziti but with elbow mac instead. I’d call it beef and macaroni bake.

  4. If it wasn’t baked with the cheese, we’d call it American Chop Suey. =) My mom made it all the time when we were growing up (in Massachusetts) + it’s total comfort food to me. Baked and with the cheese, I’d probably call it Baked Hamburger Mac or something like that. But it’s definitely not what I think of as goulash!

  5. We call it American Chop Suey too. And that mostly came from my father from New Hampshire. So maybe it’s a true Yankee thing. (“True” meaning Yankee from New England, not just someone from the north).

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