This is another one of our favorite go-to meals for quick and easy. It is cooked in one pan, is fast, is delicious, and takes less than 30 minutes from start to finish.
You can use any kind of pasta, but I usually use a small size of macaroni. Just use what you have in your cupboard. The point of this meal is to not have to make a grocery store run to get some specialized ingredient.
As the recipe cooks, you can add more water as the liquid cooks down because you need to keep the pasta covered with liquid. Make sure you stir it often, too.
I used tomatoes that I had frozen back when tomatoes were in season. I just whirl fresh tomatoes in the food processor and put them in bags to freeze.
Here's the recipe:
Saute in a small amount of oil:
1/2 onion, chopped
1/2 green pepper, chopped (optional)
2-3 cloves of garlic
1/2 lb ground beef (or less; this is a good "essence of meat" meal)
Pour off any excess fat. (Our beef is so lean this never happens!)
1 t. salt
1/4 t. oregano
a handful of fresh basil leaves
2 c. pureed or stewed tomatoes
2 c. water (the recipe says 3/4 cup, but there's no way that's enough)
Bring to a boil and add:
1 1/2 cups pasta
Reduce heat, cook until the pasta is tender. Remember to add more liquid as necessary and to stir often. The recipe says to cover the pan, but I find it works better if you don't cover it.
Sprinkle a small amount of cheese on top. Cover the pan just until the cheese is melted.
Voila! Home-made Hamburger Helper!
Tonight, no time to fuss with a vegetable, so we just had olives. :) They look huge in this picture. John also had bread. Have I mentioned how wonderful it is to live in a country that has baguette?