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Macaroni and Tomatoes photo by KrisEdwards/Townsquare Media

wouldn't say I grew up in a poor house, but I certainly grew up in a simple one.  Pretty basic stuff when it came to food.  Many of the foods that I have fond memories of have gotten criticized in my adult years (typically by a significant other), but there is one food that I tend to get rave reviews for:  Macaroni and Tomatoes.

Unless you have a hatred of tomatoes or an imaginary gluten intolerance, you might enjoy this childhood favorite of mine.  My guess is that it was born on one of those nights where someone didn't want to go to the store and just whipped up a few things from the pantry.  Here is how to make it perfectly:

Prepare your macaroni - I use the cheap elbow stuff in the box that doesn't include any powdery cheese.  About a cup of uncooked pasta boiled for about six minutes.

Drain it, but don't rinse it.  Why no rinse?  Because you need it hot to melt the tablespoon of butter you're about to throw in there.  Stir the butter around in the noodles (which should now be back in the pot) until the butter has disappeared and the noodles are glistening with fatty goodness.  At this point I throw in a teaspoon or so of black pepper.

Open a can of stewed tomatoes (none of the weird recipes e.g. "garlic basil") - just the original "Stewed Tomatoes" in the 12oz can.

Dump them in the pot, juice and all.  Add a teaspoon of sugar, stir and your'e done.

Super simple, but my family loves them.  Now, if you start throwing in meat, onions or other things you're venturing into goulash territory and I can't be held responsible for your results.  Try it this way and see what you think!  It's about as easy as it gets.