Mamatoga Recipe: Courtesy of How to Cook Gluten-Free: Over 150 Recipes That Really Work by Elizabeth Barbone

Tonight's dinner was courtesy of Elizabeth Barbone and her new book, How to Cook Gluten-Free: Over 150 Recipes That Really Work, which you can find right here. This is a great title for the book because the recipe we tried out tonight was just perfect. Easy for me to make with the kids, everyone enjoyed it at dinner, even my very picky children. They even BOTH had two servings, and Sean and I joked that we should have recorded them saying how much they loved it, but decided that no one would believe it was spontaneous if we did because they both raved so much. Nice and simple, the Upstate Goulash we made was definitely a crowd pleaser and was super easy to whip up after a busy day. Described as "a straightforward, comprehensive guide to gluten-free cooking— a must-have resource with real solutions for real people" this is my type of cookbook. Sure, I have those fancy ones for days when I have tons of time to experiment, but most of the time I need something that will help me get delicious dinners on the table without a lot of fuss. How to Cook Gluten-Free is full of wholesome cooking, comforting family favorites, and easy answers for hungry families. The cookbook covers all kinds of meals for the family:

  • Breakfast: “Powdered Sugar Doughnut” Muffins, Waffles, Quiche “Cupcakes,” Pancakes
  • Easy Dinners and Casseroles: Pasta and Meatballs, Creamy Macaroni and Cheese, Baked Chicken Tenders, Cornbread Chili Bake
  • On the Lighter Side: Summer Vegetable Pasta, Oven-Roasted Shrimp, California Club Turkey Burger, Salmon Cakes
  • Desserts: Rustic Pies and Cobblers, Whoopie Pies, Cheesecake Cups, Brownies, Vanilla and Chocolate Cupcakes

And you'll be able to win a free copy right here on Mamatoga so stay tuned for details! In the meantime, check out the recipe. I know you're family will love it as much as mine did.

Upstate “Goulash”

From Elizabeth's book: "Traditional Hungarian goulash is made with meat, vegetables, and a generous helping of paprika. But that isn’t what I think of when someone says goulash. The first thing I think of is a pasta dish made with tomato sauce, ground beef, and cheddar cheese. In upstate New York, this casserole was always called 'goulash.' No matter what you want to call it, it’s a recipe for easy comfort food." We served our goulash with crusty bread and a mixed greens salad with goat cheese and pine nuts, we also substituted the cheddar for a mix of mozzarella, provolone and Asiago.

Gluten-free nonstick cooking spray


1 pound gluten-free elbow macaroni

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 medium onion, finely diced

1 clove garlic, minced or put through a garlic press

1 pound ground sirloin (90 to 92% lean)

1 can (28 ounces) tomato sauce

6 ounces cheddar cheese, grated (about 11/2 cups)

1. Adjust oven rack to the middle position and preheat the oven to 375oF. Lightly spray a 13 by 9-inch baking dish with nonstick cooking spray.

2. Fill a large (51/2-quart) pot three-quarters full with water. Cover and bring to a boil over high heat. Set a colander in the sink for draining the pasta. When the water reaches a boil, add 1 tablespoon salt and the pasta. (Set a timer for 10 minutes.) Stir with a wooden spoon for about 30 seconds, then stir occasionally while the pasta cooks. (For a how-to on cooking pasta, see page 105.)

3. In a large (12-inch) nonstick frying pan, heat the oil over high heat until hot and shimmering but not smoking. Add the onion. Cook, stirring frequently with a wooden spoon, until the onion is soft, about 3 minutes. Add the garlic and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Cook, stirring frequently, until soft and aromatic, about 45 seconds.

4. Add the ground beef and cook, breaking up the clumps with a wooden spoon or heatproof spatula, until thoroughly cooked and browned, about 4 to 5 minutes. If desired, remove and discard any excess fat. (For a how-to on cooking ground meat, see page 44.)

5. Stir three-quarters of the tomato sauce into the beef. Lower the heat to low.

6. After about 10 minutes of boiling, check the pasta for doneness. Drain the pasta in the colander and return it to its pot over very low heat.

7. Add the meat sauce to the pasta and stir with a wooden spoon to combine. Pour into the prepared baking dish. Top with the remaining tomato sauce and sprinkle evenly with the cheese.

8. Bake, uncovered, until the cheese is golden brown and the sauce is bubbling, about 25 minutes.

Serves 4

All in all it was a great family meal, one that has already been requested again by Finn and Lev (and Sean). I'll be featuring some more recipes from Elizabeth in the future too. I love the easy and wholesome feel of her book and know it is going to turn into a major resource for me. It will soon be sticky with the tomato sauce splatters, flour fingerprints and other little spills of a much used, much loved cookbook. Enjoy Mamatogians!