No-Name Recipe

One night, while visiting my mother, we were sitting around the dinner table discussing meals we grew up eating.  We began listing which meals we had fond memories of and which we’d rather forget. 

Obviously, when your own mother is sitting there, and she was the one who did most of the cooking, you must be careful what you say.   Honestly, though, I liked just about anything my mother cooked. 

Some of my favorite meals, of both my mother and father, include my daddy’s famous Chicken Fried Steak and my mother’s every- birthday-meal I affectionately call, The Best Chicken Recipe in the World.

As far as food items that made a regular appearance when I was growing that won’t be served at my table…they include:  

  • “Chitlins” (chitterlings–the small intestine of swine) in cornbread,
  • brussel sprouts, and
  • tomato aspic (look it up)…gag. 

Those particular items/recipes have been torn out of the Cookbook of my Life.  My children will grow up never knowing they even existed.

As my sister and I were listing our favorites, my mother began to talk about something she grew up eating and loving.   

It involved elbow macaroni and stewed tomatoes.

Initially, I thought it sounded absolutely revolting.  And I love both pasta and tomatoes.  I love them together.  But, for some reason just plain stewed tomatoes and elbow macaroni sounded boring. 

And icky.

Well, my mother raved and raved about it, trying to convince me it tasted good.  She even got up from the table and called a friend who had also grown up eating this dish, who also raved and raved about it.  Neither one of them knew what the recipe was called, nor did they care.

I honestly just thought they were either a) drunk as skunks, and/or, b) participating in some revisionist history.  Either way, they were not convincing me.

But, because my mother went on and on about the silly dish, I decided to make it for her the next night. 

Guess what.  I am a changed woman.  I LOVED it!  It is such a simple dish.  Yet, very tasty.

This puppy is in my regular cooking repertoire, now.

In fact, tonight, when I set it on the counter, my oldest saw it and said, “Is that those noodles?!! Awesome!”  (I am seeking an English tutor, tomorrow, I promise.)

Now, please do not base your opinion on my pictures.  I took these tonight, after I made the No-Name Recipe for dinner.  The lighting in my kitchen is rather lacking, especially at night. In fact, I wavered over whether I should even post pictures.  They do not do the dish justice.

For the love of Pete, just go to your pantry and pull out the items to make this dish!  Tonight!   

Of course, let me know what you think, after you make it. 

Here’s the No-Name Recipe:

1 lb. elbow macaroni, cooked to al dente, and drained

2 cans stewed tomatoes

Salt, Pepper, and Garlic Powder (or Garlic Salt, either will work)

  • Pour cooked pasta into a large, greased, casserole dish. 
  • Pour the tomatoes over the top and mix until all the pasta is coated. 
  • Season with salt, pepper and garlic powder, to taste.

Place in 350 degree oven and cook for about 20-30 minutes.

(I sometimes sprinkle Parmesan cheese on the top.  I did tonight.)

Then, Bob’s your uncle!  You’re done. 

Bon Appetit!


P.S. This recipe makes me want to grow tomatoes with my Topsy-Turvy even more!!  As God is my witness, I WILL have tomatoes this summer!!!



  1. Andrea

    I’ve thrown together similar when the pikings from the pantry are scarce. I love it! Can you post your cheese grits recipe some time soon???? I think it’s time I make them.

    • Elizabeth Simmons

      Oh, Andrea, I need to, don’t I? I’ll see about making that over the weekend or next. Thanks for reminding me…it’s been awhile since I’ve made it.

  2. Tammie

    Mom used to make what she called Macaroni and Tomatoes….it was just noodles and tomatoe sauce. I think I would enjoy the chunky tomatoes better.

    Remember the game we played when we went to each others house and the goal was to have something the other had never had before??? My favorite thing was artichokes….love them to this day…..Still have never tried escargo. Suppose you will have to come and we go together for that tasting.


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