Monday, June 06, 2005

Beef, Cheese, and Noodle Bake

Beef, Cheese, and Noodle Bake (Adapted from CL)

8 ounces whole wheat elbow macaroni
1 teaspoon olive oil
1 cup diced onion
1 cup shredded carrot
3 garlic cloves, minced
16 ounces ground sirloin
1 1/4 cups marinara sauce
1 teaspoon kosher salt, divided
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon dried basil
1/4 teaspoon ground red pepper
1 cup milk
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
6 ounces shredded sharp white cheddar cheese, divided

Preheat oven to 350

In a large pot of boiling water, cook pasta according to the package directions.

Heat oil in a large pot over medium-high heat. Add onion and carrot. Sauté 4 minutes. Add garlic and cook about 1 minute. Add in beef and cook 5 minutes or until browned, stirring to crumble. Add tomato sauce, 1/2 teaspoon salt, pepper, basil and red pepper. Cook for 2 minutes or until left with just a little liquid.

Combine warm pasta to beef mixture.

In a medium saucepan, whisk together milk, flour, nutmeg, and remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt. Cook over medium heat 2 minutes or until thickened, making sure to whisk constantly. Add 1 cup cheese, stirring until smooth. Pour cheese mixture over pasta/beef mixture and stir to combine.

Place mixture in a 7 x 11 (or 9 x 13) pan lightly coated with cooking spray. Evenly scatter with remaining 1/2 cup cheese. Bake for 10-20 minutes or until lightly browned. Let cool about 5 minutes before serving.

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