My friend Lishie recently posted this recipe for Mom's Helper, a homemade version of the infamous Hamburger Helper. I needed a quick and easy meal to make on Super Bowl Sunday afternoon that we could take for lunch on Monday. SP said you can't go wrong with beef, pasta and cheese sauce so I gave it a whirl.
After I put aside our lunches and some for Baby Girl's dinner there was still another serving in the pan, which was incredible since the recipe only calls for 1/2-lb of pasta. This meal really stretches a buck, that's for sure. SP snacked on it in the afternoon before we went to a Super Bowl party and deemed it delicious. I enjoyed it for lunch the next day.
I used nugget pasta (also called radiatore) and I upped the amount of Italian seasoning since 1 teaspoon didn't seem like enough. I added salt and pepper to the cheese sauce and the beef mixture since I always season with both. I also erred on the bigger side of the estimates Lishie gave in her original recipe.
Baby Girl gobbled this up, although she picked around most of the bigger chunks of meat. She used to love meatballs but lately she doesn't want anything to do with them. Weirdo! Thanks for a great recipe, Lishie!
Modified from DeLish
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 teaspoons dried Italian seasoning
1 lb. ground beef
Salt and pepper
8 oz. elbow macaroni (or other small pasta)
4 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons flour
2 cups milk
1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese
In a large saute pan with deep sides, heat the oil over medium heat. Saute the onion until translucent, then add the garlic and dried herbs. Season with salt and pepper then stir to combine. Add the ground beef and cook through, stirring occasionally.
Meanwhile, boil the water for the macaroni. Cook the pasta al dente. Drain.
Drain the oil from the beef mixture (you can use a strainer or just put a lid on the pot and invert). Combine the beef mixture and the cooked pasta. Set aside.
Using a small sauce pan, melt the butter. Add the flour and whisk to combine. Slowly add the milk and allow to thicken. Season with salt and pepper. Turn off the heat and add the cheese. Whisk to melt the cheese.
Pour the cheese sauce over the hamburger/macaroni-mix and stir to combine.