Thursday, August 30, 2018

1970s Hometown Cookbook: Dave Cooks All the Recipes. Part 11: Macaroni-Cheese Tomato Casserole

Recipe Count: 10 of 156 Complete.

1. Spanish Fillet of Flounder
2. Golden Glazed Chicken
3. Mrs. Stoffels Yellow Angel Cake
4. Cheese Shorties
5. Rice Meatballs
6. Eggplant or Zucchini Parmesan 
7. Company Chicken Casserole
8. Serendipity
9. Sour Cream Cookies

Look at that! I'm prolific. One month since I started my "Favorite Recipes" exercise and I've burned through 10 recipes. Thought it might be nice to provide a recap via links.

Tonight we have Madelyn Futia's "Macaroni-Cheese Tomato Casserole."

If you include the words 'Macaroni' and 'Cheese' in a recipe there are certain expectations I think. This recipe does not meet them. But I still have some things to say.

I'm going to go out on a limb and guess that Futia is an Italian-American name. Point being, my wife grew up in a home with her immigrant Italian grandparents. The wife hates cooking but has a few recipes that she claims to have inherited. One that always struck me as strange was a simple elbow noodle recipe that involved stewed tomatoes and butter. It was pretty much just elbow noodles, a can of hand squished stewed tomatoes, and butter... "Macaroni-Cheese Tomato Casserole" caught my eye as it appears to be a variation on that same theme.

I don't think I was too out of bounds by going with the 'healthy' pasta that I use to sneak nutritional value onto my children.

For workaday dairy products I always choose Cabot. For a mass market producer Cabot does good product.

I happened to be at P-Chops looking for a can of stewed tomatoes. I can't remember the last time I have been looking for stewed tomatoes... I found the selection very limited. I feel like in years past there was a veritable stewed tomato section in the tomato goods aisle. The world has moved on.

I used a particularly small green pepper and diced very fine. I've been trying to slide these dishes under my family's radar and a large pepper, diced big, would have set off alarms. An acceptable liberty to take I think.

"Dot with butter" always throws me. What does that mean? I cut the butter in quarter inch hunks and just shoved them all over. Someone else give me their concept of "dot with butter." Thank you.

Here she is baked.

Here she is in the bowl.

OK. Back to the thing about what 'mac' and 'cheese' implies when used in a recipe title. It implies creaminess. Melty-ness. Mac-n-cheese-ness. This recipe lacks that quality. Two tablespoons of milk? Sorry, that does not cut it.

Notes on taste:

Dry. This is a dry recipe. You can't go wrong with the combo of tomato and sharp cheddar (in fact, I have an old "Horn & Hardart" mac-cheese recipe which includes tomato. I need to make it soon). The flavor of this casserole is sound. But it aches for wetness. My daughter tried a bowl straight out of the oven and "sorta" liked it. I added some additional tomato sauce for her which improved the situation. I am thinking about doing a quick bechamel to mix in to improve the leftovers.

The unbaked butter/stewed mater/elbow recipe that I mentioned my wife would make had a certain slippery charm. Maybe a can of Campbell's Cream of Chicken would carry the day here? Or just a quick white sauce? I don't know... This was another miss.


  1. Loving this series. 1 can of stewed tomatoes definitely seems like it would create a dry pasta dish. This definitely brings back memories of dishes my friend's Italian mom would make when I was younger.

  2. Is the mac 1 lb cooked weight or dry weight?

  3. grew up with a side dish like your wife describes - boiled noodles (elbows), canned (as in home canned) tomatoes, and a couple pats of butter - mix, heat, pour in dish. garnish with 'sprinkle cheese'. I of course, prefer it as a main dish. This recipe just makes a casserole of the whole thing.

  4. Awesome series. Loving the posts. I laughed all the way through "banana fish".

    The deep belly laughs too! I'm a big fan of church cookbooks myself so this has been quite entertaining.


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