My husband, Brian, grew up with his dad making this, although apparently they called it slop. Over the years I have either gathered recipes from my mother in law if she had them, or tried to recreate recipes from my husband’s youth based on what he remembers. That can be quite a feat, let me tell you!  I didn’t start making this recipe until fairly recently, finding out that “slop” was just a traditional goulash. The first time I made this, it was very good, but I had overdone it with the bay leaves and they were a little overwhelming, so after that I choose just one small bay leaf. I prefer my pasta on the al dente side, so if 15 minutes isn’t enough to get your pasta the way you prefer it, feel free to add a couple extra minutes after the addition of the pasta.


  • 2 pounds lean ground beef
  • 2 large yellow onions, chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 2 cups water 
  • 2 (15-ounce) cans tomato sauce
  • 2 (14.5-ounce) can petite diced tomatoes
  • 3 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons Italian seasoning
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 tablespoon seasoning salt
  • 2 cups uncooked elbow macaroni


  1. Brown the ground beef in a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat, breaking the meat up as it cooks, until the meat is no longer pink and has started to brown. Drain and return to pan with the onions and garlic. Continue to cook the meat mixture until the onions are translucent, about 5 more minutes.
  2. Stir water, tomato sauce, diced tomatoes, soy sauce, Italian seasoning, bay leaves, and seasoning salt into the meat mixture and bring to a boil over medium heat. Reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  3. Stir macaroni into the mixture, cover, and simmer over low heat until the pasta is tender, about 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat, discard bay leaf, and serve.