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Monday, October 4, 2010

Macaroni (Dutch Macaroni)

Ten percent of the Dutch population thinks that macaroni and chili con carne are.......Dutch dishes. I kid you not. Eighty-seven percent of that same population eats macaroni at least once a week. When you ask children here in the USA what their favorite kind of food is, they'll usually say: Pizza! Dutch kids would tell you that macaroni was their favorite food.

A Dutch TV show called "Man Bijt Hond" ("Man bites dog") has a section called "Hond Aan Tafel", where the camara crew knocks on a random house door around dinner time and asks the surprised habitants if they can join them. Most often the answer is yes, and the short scene allows for a peek in the life of just an ordinary person. Nine out of then, the answer to "What's for dinner?" is...you guessed it.....macaroni.

And they're not the only ones that love macaroni. Yours truly enjoys a huge plate of the salty, warm, comforting pasta with a pickle on the side to provide some crunch, yummmmm!!!!!!!!!!!! It's one of the many reasons why I keep ground beef in the freezer: once the meat is thawed, this dish is quick and easy to prepare. Just what you need when you're looking for some comfort!

Dutch Macaroni
3 cups of elbow macaroni or fusilli
1 lb of ground beef
1/2 a leek, white only, sliced thin
1 red pepper
1 sachet of macaroni spices*
1 small can of tomato sauce
Pickles, optional

Cook the macaroni according to instructions. Brown the ground beef in a skillet, pour off the fat and add in strips of red pepper and the sliced leek. Stir in the spices and the tomato sauce, simmer for ten minutes. Add the macaroni and mix with the sauce. Serve warm.

* I buy the macaroni spices in Dutch stores online, but the spaghetti spice mix packages that are available in your standard supermarket is practically the same.


  1. Hello, I just found your blog and as I've lived in Holland for 10 years I find it fascinating. I've never really been into the "maaltijds" finding them strangely spiced (preferring Mexican seasonings myself)but your macaroni recipe tempted me so I made it today. You mention that any basic spaghetti sauce recipe will work, but I think you'd end up with a very different dish. The "Silvo" brand "kruidenmix voor macaroni maaltijd" has (among others) the following spices in its ingredients: paprika, coriander seed, mustard seed, cumin seed, ginger, turmeric, and cayenne pepper. Not your average spaghetti sauce! But it was good, and will still be good for lunch tomorrow.

    Thanks for your blog!

  2. Hello I read your recipe for macaroni, I grow up in Holland and my family still lives there, when we made macaroni at home in Holland we used pork sausage and made little meatballs with the meat then we put in a lot of onions and tomato paste.
    I live now for 37 years in the States and I still make the macaroni, it is even my grandson's favorite dish.


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