Mama's Macaroni and Tomatoes...My Comfort Food!

 
 
 
"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!
 
 
 


57 comments:

  1. awwwww brings back good family suppers when I was a kid! You are indeed right, I don't know of anyone who make this like my Moms. thanks for posting

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  2. One of my favorites growing up and still is. I agree about it being better without cheese;-) I really enjoy all of the recipes and have shared many of them!

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  3. I have never tried bacon. Mom always used butter✨

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  4. I make this dish....The only thing I do differently is add an onion to the mac. while it is cooking...

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    1. My husband would never eat tomatoes of any kind until I fixed Mac and tomatoes ..it was a cool evening and he said that smells so good I think I will try some....been eating it ever since..and I also add an onion to the mac when it is cooking....

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    2. so did my GranPa... lots of onions in the pot !!

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  5. When I was growing up, we used home canned tomatoes. Not the same with store bought, but still like it! It's my go-to when I'm sick.

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  6. Do you drain the pasta before adding the rest of the ingredients, or add them to the pasta water?

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    1. I drain it some.

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    2. Yes, you drain the pasta. Enjoy!

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  7. Sounds yummy and very similar to my moms except for the bacon drippings. I do have a question though.
    Do you drain the water that you cook the macaroni in before you add the rest of the ingredients?

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    1. Drain the water from the pasta. The V8 & tomatoes will be the liquid needed to finish the recipe.

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  8. wow... my mom used to make this.. she added some chili powder.. don't think she ever put in v-8.. and careful w/the chili powder because if you have any left over.. it will be a lot warmer the next day..

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    1. I use stewed tomatoes. Makes up for V-8 . I guess

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  9. My Mother has made this all my life. Not exactly this recipe but very similar. We thought we were the only ones eating it also.

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  10. I'm making this tonight for dinner, sounds yummy!! Perfect comfort food when it's FREEZING outside.

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  11. no, you do not drain the water, but you do let it boil down low before adding the tomatoes and v- 8.

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    1. It's too bad it does not say this in the instructions; it only says to add the other ingredients after the pasta begins to soften. I had to scoop out all the pasta and let the liquid continue to reduce because it looked nothing like the picture. There was so much liquid you could not even see the pasta. In fact it's on the stove right now.

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    2. If you cook 1 cup pasta in only 2 cups water, once it has cooked to al dente, most of the liquid has to be absorbed If you had a lot of water left once the pasta was cooked, you used too much water to begin with.

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    3. I would for sure drain the water from the pasta. I would want to enjoy the flavors from the V8 and Tomatoes. I want to enjoy the pasta as well not a bowl of water.

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  12. Sounds very good, I am going to have to try and make this for sure.

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  13. My mom used to make macaroni & tomatoes and also bread tomatoes. I thought we were the only family that ate these dishes, too...lol.

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  14. Never heard of this before but it sure does sound and look very tasty. Sometimes the simplest things are the best! Can't wait to try it.

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  15. Do you have the recipe for the BREADED TOMATOES? PLEASE!

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  16. My G-made - but just the elbows, canned whole tomatoes, butter and s&p...Was poor man's food, but I loved it

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  17. I grew up on macaroni and tomatoes but my Mom always added Franks to it. We loved it. May not have been healthy but sure was good. As the grandchildren came along, they all like it too. Everyone is grown and gone now but I still sometimes make just for "old times sake"

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  18. My Mom use to make this and I made it for my kids I used the alphabet noodles they love those when little. I boiled the noodles in tomato juice and V8 instead of water gave them even more of the taste.

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    1. I thought I was the only person who boiled the noodles in the juice! :)

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    2. Clever idea to boil noodles in juice!! :)

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  19. I make this too. I add evaporated milk also. Comfort food!

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  20. We just called it goolosh ... noodles, tomatoes, tomato sause , onion, green pepper, sometimes add burger, salt and pepper.... mmmmm I love it.

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  21. I still use bacon drippings. Never has used V8. Blend canned tomatoes until liquified. A favorite food in the winter time OR after I've a stomach. Feels like the salt and tomatoes help replenish liquids. Now I need to cook some!

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  22. My mom also made this when I was growing up. She's gone now and I haven't been able to duplicate the flavor, but I never tried butter and bacon grease! I will next time. Thanks!

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  23. As kids, my mom made macaroni and tomato soup for us. We loved it then and I still make it now and then for my husband. Great with a grilled cheese sandwich!

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  24. I to thought our family was the only ones that made this. Recipe is a little different, but close. No butter , sugar, or tomatoes. Just macaroni boiled with bacon grease. Once it is boiled down a bit, I poor in my homemade tomato juice or V8. It looks a lot like soup. My grandkids call it Macaroni Soup. Sometimes I use shells. The kids tend to like it better for some reason. Thanks for posting a great recipe.

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  25. love mac and tomatoes also breaded tomatoes

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  26. I've always loved this. My grandmother and mother ate it all the time. They were from New York so I always thought it was a Northern thing!

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  27. My Momma use to make a macaroni dish that had a very pleasant strong tomato taste that was thick, like it just coated the pasta. I always thought it was tomato paste. I don't know how she did it but would love for you or someone else to know exactly what is was called and how to make it. It too used elbow macaroni. Your above recipe will be one I'll make. Think Momma put hamburger in it too! Mom's recipes were never written down, she just eyeballed it I guess you can say, which is bad for me now that she's gone to heaven. <3

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  28. Macaroni is my favorite. I like to travel a lot. Macaroni is my fixed takeaway item. I like to taste various types of macaroni. Chinese Takeaway Cumbernauld

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  29. Love this. My Mom served with pinto beans and cornbread as well. We used tomatoes and tomato juice instead of V8.

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  30. MY MOM used to make this too ,as we always had lots canned tomatoes in the winter time ...I always thought it was because we were very poor growing up in Coeburn VA ..I have occasionally made it for my family when we were low on food ,always keeping macaroni as a go to item ...its good and now I want some ...all the kids are on their own so I will have left overs now ...and yes its good with onions ,green peppers and hamburger in it which then becomes goulash .

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  31. Does anyone have the exact recipe for Goulash? We also grew up with mom making this but she is gone now and never wrote the recipe down. My sister and I were talking about this the other day.

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  32. Moms recipe was different she used shell noodles usually the whole bag. Cook until done drain well. Melt one cube butter add 4 small cans tomato sauce, salt and pepper to taste heat until hot add noodles. Mom served them with crackers or grilled cheese sandwiches.

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  33. this is a great side dish with fried pork chops

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  34. The way we always made it was to 1st lightly brown onions in bacon drippings(you can also saute some garlic with the onions).....oh my goodness the smell of onions in bacon drippings is out of this world! Then we added the onions, bacon drippings, diced tomatoes, & tomato juice to cooked macaroni. Season with salt & pepper to taste. Simmer it a bit to blend all the flavors...........Oh yummmmmmm!

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  35. Kathy, it is a cold rainy day here in Texas and I just made this Macaroni and Tomatoes for me and my little boy. Talk about delicious! We ate 2 bowls each of this stuff! LOL I am originally from the deep South and while many of your recipes are familiar to me, this is one I had not heard of. I appreciate and enjoy your recipes so much, thank you for sharing your wonderful recipes with the rest of the world. I enjoy your stories and history of the recipes too. God Bless!

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    1. Your comment just made my day! This is exactly why I love doing what I do! I do find that some 'recipes' are very distinct to the Kentucky/Appalachia region. The ones my mother always made for us, her own mother made. They are things to fill up lots of people on little money and means, but no matter, they are the best to us! I am glad you and your boy enjoyed this! Thank you!

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  36. My husbands aunt would make a version of this. First, she would make mashed potatoes 2) put sharp cheddar cheese slices on pots 3) put the tomatoes juice & macaroni over it all.

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  37. Love this recipe as I do ALL of your wonderful recipes!!!......My husband made a version of this for years and wouldn't tell me what he put in it.....just like his mother.....lol.....finally caught him one day using canned tomato soup!......Thanks so much for sharing!......PS....I'm waiting for your cookbook!!!!!

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  38. I grew up with a similar version. We called it "Favorite Sketti"! We used tomato juice instead of V-8 and seashells instead of elbows (holds more juice!). The bacon drippings are a must! We loved a big thick slice of Velveeta in the bottom of the bowl with the hot pasta and tomatoes melting the cheese. Such comfort food - both the actual food and the many memories. I still make it regularly, but thank you for reviving this recipe.

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  39. One of my daughters favorite dishes Last time she came to vivit from Tenn. had to make this for her....along with some sweet corn bread...

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  40. My family makes this as well!! My grandma always used elbow macaroni drained, tomato juice, butter,a can of mushrooms, garlic powder,onion powder and a generous amount of salt and pepper. This is one of my favorite comfort dishes.

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  41. Just add a little water trust me it will make your noodles shine and not get soggy

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  42. My grandmother made this dish all the time. V-8 juice is the key. It was my all time favorite dish next to her "Tater" Soup which was potatoes, onions & tomato juice. I've only been able to master the tater soup once. No one can make it like she did.

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  43. This is a big family favorite. My mother in law made this with tomato soup, canned tomatos, butter, salt, pepper, & Italian seasoning. Always used elbow macaroni.

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