Creamy Beef & Pasta Bake
This toddler-friendly recipe was a farmers market favourite when Jill and I were selling our meals direct in 2006. This cheesy, beefy recipe still lives on in my household and is frequently requested for weekday packed lunches.
½ pound whole grain pasta of your choice (kids love corkscrews!)
1 tbsp. olive oil
1 medium onion, finely chopped
1 clove of garlic, finely chopped
½ pound lean ground beef
1 cup canned crushed tomatoes or tomato sauce
2 cups milk
½ tsp. Dijon mustard
2 tbsp. all-purpose flour
½ cup shredded aged cheddar cheese
2 tbsp. grated Parmesan cheese
2 tbsp. chopped parsley
- Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. Lightly coat a 9x13 casserole dish with cooking spray.
- Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add the pasta and cook for 8 to 10 minutes or until tender, but still firm. Drain and place in the casserole dish.
- To make the meat sauce, heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the onion and garlic and sauté for 4 minutes or until softened. Add the ground beef and cook, stirring to break up the meat, for 4 minutes or until no longer pink. Stir in the tomatoes, cover and cook for about 5 minutes. Set aside.
- To make the cheese sauce, combine the milk and mustard in a medium saucepan. Slowly whisk in the flour. Place over medium heat and stir until the mixture begins to boil. Reduce the heat to low and simmer, stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes or until the sauce is slightly thickened. Stir in the cheddar cheese and half the Parmesan cheese and stir until melted. Remove from the heat.
- Pour the meat sauce and cheese sauce over the cooked pasta and stir to combine. Sprinkle with the remaining Parmesan and bake in the preheated oven for 10 to 15 minutes or until completely heated through. Garnish with parsley.