"Macaroni and Tomatoes" is a dish that my mother has been making all of my life. It just says comfort food to me! Every year, when my mother asks what I want her to cook for my birthday dinner, I always say macaroni and tomatoes or breaded tomatoes, which I also love. Nobody makes either dish that tastes exactly like Mama's does. You know those recipes that only your mother or grandmother make to taste just that certain way and even though they might be good, they are just not the same as theirs. This is one of those dishes for me.
Several of you have written and asked me about a recipe for Macaroni and Tomatoes and sort of like the Southern Goulash, I used to think we were the only family that ate it, but I have learned a lot of you grew up with it also. It seems like such a simple thing to prepare, but to get it right, there are a few key ingredients. It also might seem like a dish, kids wouldn't eat, but we have some children in our family that will eat all of this you can make and set in front of them, and it's not nearly as fattening as macaroni and cheese! Mama usually served it with pinto beans and cornbread, which was really good!
Here is what you need for this old fashioned recipe:
1 cup uncooked elbow macaroni
2 cups water
1 tsp. salt
1 (15 oz.) can petite diced tomatoes, undrained
2 cups V-8 juice
1 tsp. bacon drippings
1 Tbs. butter
2 tsp. sugar
black pepper to taste
Place the macaroni in 2 cups salted boiling water and cook until the pasta is just starting to soften. Add the tomatoes, V-8 juice, bacon drippings, butter, sugar and black pepper to taste. Cook just until the pasta is done and has absorbed some of the juices. Don't leave the bacon drippings out, that is one of the keys to the flavor!
You can add cheese to this or sprinkle with Parmesan, but this is one dish I don't like to add cheese to! I know it's hard to believe, but it's true!