Plus, I don’t think HH ever made a quick béchamel, which you do in this recipe (flour, milk, nutmeg, cheese). It adds a good creamy dose of yummy to the pasta and beef.
Not Yo Mama’s Hamburger Helper
1 (12-oz.) package small elbow macaroni
2 tbs. extra virgin olive oil (EVOO)
1 medium yellow onion, chopped
1 cup baby carrot, finely diced
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 lb. lean ground sirloin
2 (8-oz.) cans tomato sauce
Freshly ground black pepper
1 cup fat-free milk
2 tbs. all-purpose flour
Pinch of ground nutmeg
1 ½ cups (6 ounces) shredded cheddar cheese, divided
Heat a pot of heavily salted water until boiling. Cook the pasta for 8-10 minutes until al dente. Drain and rinse with cold water to stop the cooking process.
Preheat oven to 350.
Heat the oil in a Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add onion and carrot; sauté 5 minutes until the onion becomes translucent and carrots begin to soften. Add garlic; sauté 1 minute. Add beef; cook 5 minutes or until browned, stirring to crumble. Add tomato sauce and salt and pepper to taste. Stir thoroughly and cook 2 minutes until heated through.
Add pasta to beef mixture in pan, stirring to combine. Spoon pasta mixture into a large baking dish coated with cooking spray.
Place milk, flour, nutmeg, and 1/4 tsp. salt in a medium saucepan; stir with a whisk until blended. Cook over medium heat 3 minutes or until thickened, stirring constantly with a whisk to prevent burning. Add 1 cup cheese, stirring until smooth. Pour cheese mixture over pasta mixture; stir well. Top evenly with remaining ½ cup cheese.
Bake at 350 for 20 minutes or until lightly browned.
Adapted from Cooking Light