This is a family recipe that has several names. My mom used to call it “goulash” and made it with real hamburger. It was called “Shipwreck Skillet” by another friend of mine who used Minute Rice instead of pasta. You generally have to stop yourself from eating seconds and thirds, which is the sign of success. My husband reviewed it: “Gorpin’ good!” It’s also a great way to use up vegetables that are going to get moldy if they aren’t used soon.
This dish is also meatless and dairy-free unless you add some Parmesan cheese or non-vegan Worcestershire sauce.
Quorn Grounds meatless crumbles, found in Target freezers, are standing in for the meat. (BTW Target near me now has an entire freezer full of meatless products from all the big names: Gardein, Quorn, Morningstar, Boca, Beyond Meat, and more. Makes life so much easier!)
Vegans — Use the high-protein elbow macaroni from Barilla in this recipe if you can find it in your supermarket. Barilla “ProteinPlus” macaroni has 10 grams of protein in a 2 ounce serving as well as 4 grams of fiber.
My fridge had leftover limp celery, a half onion, halves of a green and red bell peppers, and there were cherry tomatoes in a bowl looking very very sad.
So into the pot! All this came together in about 30 minutes.
7 ounces of uncooked macaroni (recommended for vegetarians/vegans is the protein boost in Barilla “ProteinPlus” macaroni
Olive oil, peanut or canola oil
1 bag Quorn crumbles or 16 ounces of any other brand of non-meat crumbles
1 teaspoon fennel seeds (adds a sausage flavor to the crumbles)
1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 bell pepper, chopped
1 cup tomatoes, chopped
1/2 large onion, finely minced
Salt and cracked pepper
Worcestershire sauce (regular or vegan)
Parmesan cheese (optional)
Bring a large pot of water to boil and add the macaroni, cooking according to package directions (usually 7 minutes to “al dente”).
While water is heating up, you can prep the vegetables, wash and chop them. They can all be placed in one bowl as they’ll be thrown in at the same time.
Drain out the water and macaroni into a colander and toss the hot pasta in a teaspoon of olive oil, set aside.
In the same pan used to cook the pasta, put about 3 tablespoons of olive oil into the pan over medium-high heat. Sprinkle in the hot pepper flakes, saute lightly, and let the oil absorb their flavor as it heats up. When the oil starts to smoke, add the Quorn crumbles and the fennel seed and saute until until the crumbles start to get crispy, scraping the bottom of the pan if they start to stick. Set aside to cool.
If some Quorn bits are stuck to the bottom of the pan, heat up the pan and add 1/4 cup of water or broth to loosen them up with a spatula.
Add all the vegetables to the pan and saute until crisp-tender and brightly colored, about 4 minutes.
Combine Quorn Crumbles and the macaroni in the vegetables and toss to combine. Generously add salt and cracked pepper. A few dashes of Worcestershire sauce can be added here before serving, or you can make it available for people to put on themselves. A variation is to use Parmesan cheese instead of Worcestershire sauce, but don’t combine the two!