For anyone who is a busy soul like I am you know the importance of quick, simple but still delicious meals. I really enjoy cooking but I do it for a living and after slaving away for 8+ hours a day in a hot kitchen, then to come home to the ever famous…”I’m hungry, what’s for dinner?” I feel I need to have at least a few of these quick meals that I can just whip up.
Take the traditional Macaroni and Beef we all know from not only school hot lunch but from our moms go to meals when we were young. Filling, yes, comforting, yes, tasty, not always. As I remember this was a very bland meal. Overcooked pasta, poor quality ground beef, jarred tomato sauce with chunks (if you like chunks, by all means keep them), pre shredded cheese. Sorry to say, but yuck.
The following is my version of Re-Vamped Mac and Beef.
1 box pasta (any kind will do, I used radiatori )
1-1 1/2 lg onion or 5-6 sm onion thin sliced
2T olive oil
2lbs lean ground beef
1 lg can(28oz) plain tomato sauce
1 sm can tomato paste
1c each cheddar and mozzarella cheese, shredded (or more if you like it cheesy, I added more cause I’m a cheeseaholic)
*spices to taste, optional, oregano, basil, rosemary, tarragon, chopped garlic, garlic powder, paprika, chili powder, salt and pepper*
Preheat oven to 350.
Par cook the pasta less than al dente. Meanwhile in a small pan sweat the sliced onions in 2T olive oil. Add a pinch of salt if you like. When the onions are almost done add the beef. Brown the beef fully.
When pasta is par cooked, drain fully and return to pot. Add tomato sauce and tomato paste. Season with spices if you like and to taste.
Add beef and onions. Stir to combine well.
Taste to make sure it has the flavor you like, adjust accordingly.
Top with cheese.
Pour mixture into un-greased 9×13 pan, glass preferable. Bake at 350 until nice and brown and bubbly on top.
Serve with crusty bread and butter if you like.
Wishing you comfy eating!!