Saturday, September 1, 2012

Homemade Hamburger Helper

OK, I admit it. I used to really like Hamburger Helper. Kind of gross now, when I really think about it. But, back in the day, I loved it. Just like Kraft Dinner and 2 minute noodles, it had it's place in my pantry. But, I have grown up and moved on from the processed box dinner, and crafted my own hamburger helper recipe.

I remember I loved it so much, that I bought a box of every variety Betty Crocker made and took it home to my sister in Australia. We laughed so much, we also ate so much of it too.

It was cool the other night, and I needed comfort. I needed pasta in a meaty sauce and something that would fill me right up. Without a box of HH in my pantry, I devised this ingenious recipe. It's a one pot recipe - so not much cleaning, and it freezes well, perfect for lunches or quick dinners over the next little while.

All you need is some garlic bread and a big glass of wine. Well, maybe the wine after the kids are in bed.

Homemade Hamburger Helper
Serves 6-8

2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 onion, diced
1 clove garlic, minced
1 lb lean ground beef
1 teaspoon salt
750ml passata (pureed tomatoes in a bottle)
1/4 cup ketchup
1 teaspoon dried basil
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 cup beef stock
2.5 cups dry pasta
1 cup frozen peas
1 cup shredded cheddar
1/2 cup whipping cream

Heat oil in a large pot. Add onion and cook until softened. Add garlic, ground beef and salt, and cook until ground beef is browned. Stir in passata, ketchup, basil, oregano, pepper, beef stock and pasta. Bring to a boil, cover and simmer gently until pasta is cooked through, 15-20 minutes depending on the type of pasta you use. The pasta should absorb most of the liquid and leave you with a rich and thick sauce.

When pasta is cooked, remove from heat, mix in frozen peas, cheddar and whipping cream. Check seasoning and serve!


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