Saturday, March 17, 2012

Creamy Pasta and Beef Casserole Recipe


I'm not normally a casserole person. In my mind, they tend to be unhealthy, too cheesy, too fattening, too mix-it-all-together-can't-tell-what's-in-it. But this casserole blows those biases out of the water. It's healthy, creamy (without too much cheese), and super flavorful. I think the flavor of the basil is just a beautiful addition to the beef and vegetables. I think your whole family will love this! 

Creamy Pasta and Beef Casserole
recipe adapted from my mom's recipe card (no source)
Makes 4 servings 

3 cups short cut pasta, cooked
1/2 pound ground beef
1 celery rib, chopped
1 carrot, finely chopped
1 small onion, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 green pepper, chopped
1/2 tsp basil
1/4 tsp black pepper
2 Tbsp flour
2 Tbsp soy sauce
1/4 cup milk
1/2 cup cheddar or Muenster or mozzarella cheese, shredded

Cook pasta in boiling water, leaving it just shy of al dente (a little tougher than you would normally want your pasta to be cooked. It will continue to cook in the oven).

Heat a large skillet to medium high heat. Begin browning the ground beef. Add in celery, carrot, onion, garlic and green pepper while beef is still cooking. Sprinkle in basil, pepper and salt and cook until vegetables are tender and meat is no longer pink. Sprinkle in flour and stir until it is no longer visible. Add in soy sauce and gradually stir in milk. Bring to a boil and stir in cheese. Cook and stir until cheese is melted. Add the cooked (and drained) pasta to the beef mixture.

Transfer to a 2-3 quart baking dish. Bake at 350 degrees for 35 minutes.

(This may also be made ahead of time and refrigerated. Just remove from the oven about an hour before baking to bring back to room temperature. Bake until bubbly.)    

1 comment:

  1. Ever since I was a kid, I LOVED casseroles. It's a cold day round my neck of the woods, so if I didn't have a stew already going in the crock pot, I'd be making your recipe. Hope you had a great weekend!