Today's recipe is one I had been using for many years, I think it came down to me though my mom but not sure and neither is she. Needless to say I have had it for 25+ years now (used it allot when my daughter was a kid she is now 29) and had not made it in the past 7 or 8 years. I realized I need to start using it again to feed the bellies of my growing boys.
This is a simple yet inexpensive alternative to that boxed stuff (you know what they call Hamburger Helper) that you can buy in the store. The bonus is that all the ingredients are easy to pronounce and actually have real flavours. It can be made one of 2 ways with fresh ingredients or you can spend an afternoon mixing up a bunch of small batches of the dried ingredients for a quick meal. I will list the dry ingredients in the recipe below and if you want fresh all you have to do is substitute out the onion and garlic and of course double the amounts.
You can make it a more complete meal by using a larger pan and adding some frozen veggies to the mix to sneak in some veggies for the kids.
Since I had not made this in in a while I decided to tweak it a bit with all the newfound knowledge I have now for cooking.
Alrighty then off we go then.
- The Dry Stuff mix all this stuff in a small bowl
- 1 Tbsp dried onion (if doing fresh use about ½ med onion)
- ¼ tsp Oregano
- ½ tsp Garlic flakes (if doing fresh use about 3 cloves garlic)
- ½ tsp Basil
- ½ tsp Italian Seasoning
- ½ tsp salt
- If doing fresh add 3 button mushrooms chopped up. (yes cut into ity bity pieces)
- The wet stuff (not the kinky wet)
- 3 and ½ cups water
- 8oz can tomato paste
- Mix this stuff in a large measure cup or a bowl
- The Meat (for the wet stuff)
- 1lb Ground beef (splurge on the good stuff if you can the extra lean it means no draining other wise you will have to get rid of the extra oil)
- The Noodles
- 8oz your favourite pasta shape ie. shells, spirals macaroni (not spaghetti, linguini or noodles in any form)
- Start with a med large about 12in skillet, now heat that bad girl up get her really warm.
- Put your meat into the pan and brown it up well (if you used the cheap stuff you will need to drain the grease)
- If doing fresh:
- Add the chopped onion, garlic and mushrooms now. Cook until they all soften up and to have released the moisture.
- If doing dry now is the time to dump all the spices mix into the meat and mix well. Simmer for about 3 to 5 min.
- Now pour in your mix of water and tomato paste and turn the heat up on high.
- Add your pasta if you measured it out hallelujah!!!! If your more like me you need about 4 to 6 handfuls from the bag.
- Now bring this whole mess to a boil stirring well
- Now turn that thing down to low and cover it and simmer for 20min.
- Big thing here about every 5 to 7 min you need to stir the mess or it will stick to bottom of pan and burn.
- Now while it does its thing simmering make a salad to go with dinner and maybe some garlic toast would be nice (kids love garlic toast better something than nothing in their bellies) Those recipes will show up here sooner or later.
So what did the kidlets have to say about this dinner? Well the oldest proclaimed to was fantastic and proceed to eat it all and ask for more, the youngest well you can't win them all since he only ate his salad and the garlic toast. I guess its still a win at least he got some veggies into his belly disguised as salad, since salad is not actually a vegetable.