One night, our friend Lynn had us over for dinner. She told us she was making “slum”.
“You’re making what?,” I asked.
“Slum….slumgullion,” Lynn responded casually.
“Well…what kind of wine do I bring?”
“Anything red,” She quipped.

And so, that night I learned about slumgullion. Lynn told us this was a dish her family made, but that the recipe might have been born out of the depression era. Essentially, slumgullion is a kind of stew where you put into it, whatever could be found. Usually some kind of meat, a pasta or other kind of starch such as beans, any vegetable and crushed tomatoes. Lynn’s version contained spaghetti, crushed tomatoes, onion, sharp cheddar cheese and 2 Lbs. ground beef. I loved it and the history behind this dish, so I decided to make my own. I stuck to Lynn’s recipe closely, but added just a few more ingredients. One of the things I did was to make homemade spaghetti. This recipe can be followed, but I think the point of slumgullion is to use whatever you have and make it your own. A side of garlic bread would fit nicely with this meal. Have fun!

1 Lb. spaghetti
1 large onion, sliced
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 Lb. ground beef
1 large organic carrot, cut into thick slices
2 “stick of butter” size pieces of sharp cheddar cheese, grated
2 28 ounce cans crushed tomatoes
1/2 Tsp. smoked paprika
1 15.5 ounce can cannellini beans
Salt and pepper to taste

In a large pot, put about 2 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil and cook the carrots and onions until tender. Add the garlic and toss into the mixture for 1 minute. Add the ground beef and cook. Then add the beans and heat through. Add the cooked spaghetti and crushed tomatoes and heat through. Add the smoked paprika, salt and pepper. Last, toss in the shredded cheese and blend until melted.

Wine served: 2011 Secoli, Ripasso Valpolicella


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