Pinterest…that brilliant mixture of feeling like a failure and feeling inspired. Despite my love/hate relationship with it, I do often find amazing recipes through Pinterest, and I’m grateful for having that tool at my fingertips. This Beef-a-Roni from Mostly Homemade Mom is one of my lucky finds. Now, if you’re not American, you might be saying “What on earth is Beef-a-Roni?” Yeah…exactly. What is Beef-a-Roni? Really, it’s just a pasta bolognese with cheese on top. This recipe made enough for my family with 2 younger kiddos to have one 9x9 pan for dinner and save one for later.
1 lb./16 oz shell pasta or elbow macaroni, cooked and drained
500g ground beef/buff
2 cans tomato puree (or 1 large can)
1 Tablespoon oil
1 onion, diced
1 teaspoon basil
1 teaspoon thyme
1 teaspoon oregano
½ teaspoon salt, to taste
1 teaspoon sugar
2 cups shredded cheese
Sauté onion in oil until translucent. Add the ground beef to the pan over medium heat and sauté until meat is browned. To the ground beef and onions, add all the remaining ingredients except the pasta and cheese. Simmer covered for 10 minutes over medium-low heat. Taste and adjust sauce seasonings accordingly. Remove from heat and toss the cooked pasta into the sauce. In a baking dish, layer half of the pasta mixture with half of the cheese. Repeat. Bake in a 170C/350F oven for 20 minutes or until the cheese is bubbly and golden.
If you’re wanting to save some for later, split the pasta/cheese between two pans and freeze one before baking. When you’re ready to use it, let it thaw and then bake according to recipe instructions. Pat yourself on the back for preparing something for your future self, just when you needed a quick meal.