Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Macaroni Mambo

I found this recipe on Eating Well, and although it seemed like a glorified hamburger helper, it had lots of good ingredients and was something even Baby Madyson could eat, so I went for it.

The only issue was that it was originally called "Hamburger Buddy". Seriously. How unappetizing is that name? It sounds like a toy from a happy meal or something, not dinner. So I decided that if I were going to take a chance with this one, it would have to be called something different. And that is how we came to enjoy Macaroni Mambo.

Its pretty good, and I think I'll be making it again because you can disguise lots of veggies in it (I added in some fresh spinach) and the overall flavor is mild enough for picky eaters.

adapted from Eating Well
3 cloves garlic, crushed and peeled
2 medium carrots, cut into 2-inch pieces
10 ounces white mushrooms, large ones cut in half
1 large onion, cut into 2-inch pieces
1 pound 90%-lean ground beef
1/4 tsp. ground thyme
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. freshly ground pepper
4 cups beef broth, divided
8 ounces whole-wheat elbow noodles, (2 cups)
1 cup fresh spinach, chopped
2 Tbsp. Worcestershire sauce
2 Tbsp. tomato paste
2 Tbsp. all-purpose flour
1/2 cup reduced-fat sour cream
1 Tbsp.chopped fresh parsley, or chives for garnish


1.Fit a food processor with the steel blade attachment. With the motor running, drop garlic through the feed tube and process until minced, then add carrots and mushrooms and process until finely chopped. Turn it off, add onion, and pulse until roughly chopped.

2.Cook beef in a large straight-sided skillet or Dutch oven over medium-high heat, breaking it up with a wooden spoon, until no longer pink, 3 to 5 minutes. Stir in the chopped vegetables, thyme, salt and pepper and cook, stirring often, until the vegetables start to soften and the mushrooms release their juices, 5 to 7 minutes.

3.Stir in water, 1 1/2 cups broth, noodles, spinach and Worcestershire sauce; bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat to medium and cook, stirring occasionally, until the pasta is tender, 8 to 10 minutes.

4.Whisk tomato paste with the remaining 1/4 cup broth in a small bowl until smooth, then whisk in flour until smooth. Stir into the hamburger mixture. Stir in the sour cream. Simmer, stirring often, until the sauce is thickened, about 2 minutes. Serve sprinkled with parsley (or chives), if desired.

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