As things are really busy now I need simple dinners. Things that pull together quickly and can be eaten in shifts if needed. The other night my daughter had dance and my son had a ceremony at school so we needed things that could heat up easily and be on the table in about 30 minutes. I remembered how much my kids loved Hamburger Helper when they were little and remembered this from ages ago.
When you cook the pasta in the flavored sauce it permeates the entire dish with lots of flavor. This is my favorite way to cook pasta rather than in plain water. Remember to adjust the spices at the end to the way you like it. More garlic? More black pepper? It is up to you!
I served this with green beans and a green side salad to complete the meal.
Homemade Italian Hamburger Helper
- 1 1/2 lbs lean ground beef
- 1 tablespoon garlic, finely minced
- 4 cup beef broth
- 1 (6 oz) can tomato paste
- 1 tablespoon onion powder
- 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
- 2 teaspoons dried basil
- 2 teaspoons dried parsley
- 1 teaspoon black pepper
- 12 oz. pasta, uncooked
- 2 cups sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
- In a large pan on medium-high heat, brown the ground beef and garlic. Drain any fat or liquid from the pan.
- When the beef is completely cooked, add the beef broth, tomato paste, onion powder, Worcestershire sauce, basil, dried parsley, and black pepper. Keep the temperature at medium-high heat until it reaches a boil. Reduce the heat to medium once full boil is reached.
- Add the elbow macaroni and cook for about 20 to 25 minutes. Stir often. You want the pasta slightly al dente – slightly chewy but cooked. Sauce should be mostly absorbed by the pasta. If it is not enough sauce to finish cooking add a tiny bit of water until fully cooked.
- Once the noodles are tender, remove the pan from the heat and add the shredded cheese a ½ cup at a time. Stir well after adding each ½ cup.
- Taste and adjust seasonings to your likening.