Macarrones is a very typical pasta dish in Spain. It's super tasty and also super easy to make.
1-2 tablespoons olive oil
a few large slices of onion
2 cloves of garlic
1 15 ounce can tomato sauce
1 teaspoon sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1 pound (or so) of ground beef
8 ounces (dry) penne noodles
If it looks like there's more of all of this in my pictures, it's because there is. One of Thomas' co-workers joined us for dinner, so I doubled everything because I wanted to be sure there was enough (even though the quantities above usually makes around 3 servings).
In a large pot begin heating water to boil the pasta.
Heat olive oil, slices of onion and garlic on low heat in a large pan. When it becomes aromatic, add the tomato sauce, sugar and salt. Stir to make sure that everything is mixed together well. A splatter guard comes in handy while the sauce is cooking to keep everything from getting splattered with tomato sauce.
You can sort of see the garlic and onion in with the tomato sauce, and you can see the (still clean) splatter guard in the background
Put another frying pan over medium heat. Cook the ground beef until browned through, using a spatula to break it apart into very small pieces. Be sure not to let the meat sit in a position too long so it won't burn and so it will cook evenly.
Drain the fat from the meat and add the meat to the tomato sauce mixture. Stir it all together.
See all the sauce on the splatterguard? That would have been all over the stove (and me!) if I didn't keep it over the pan
At this point your water pot should be boiling, so toss the pasta into the pot. In the meantime stir the sauce once in a while. Before the pasta finishes cooking, remove the onion and garlic from the sauce.
When the pasta finishes cooking strain it and either put it into the pan with the sauce (only if it is oven safe) or into a large oven-safe dish and mix it together until all of the noodles are coated with the sauce.
With some parmesan cheese sprinkled on top
If you want, go ahead and eat it now. Or if you want it to be even tastier, do this:
Sprinkle parmesan cheese on top and pop into the oven. If your pot or dish is broiler safe, go ahead and broil it until the cheese is browned. Otherwise set the oven to 350-400 degrees Farenheit and bake until cheese is nicely browned.
Time to eat!