Prep 15 mins
Cook 15 mins
This is one of those meals that I usually quickly throw together without a recipe, but last night I wrote everything down so that I could share it. It is very flexible and you can leave out or add vegetables, it also works well with any other ground meat.
- 1⁄2 lb ground beef
- 1⁄2 onion, chopped
- 1⁄2 small zucchini, cubed
- 1⁄2 bell pepper, colour of you choice or mix of colours,chopped
- 4 -6 button mushrooms, sliced
- 1 1⁄2-2 cups pasta, shapes cooked and drained,i usually use penne or 1 1⁄2-2 cups rigatoni pasta
- 3⁄4 cup chopped stewed tomatoes
- 3 tablespoons ketchup
- 2 tablespoons milk or 2 tablespoons cream
- 2 teaspoons dried oregano
- 1⁄2 teaspoon vegetable bouillon granules
- 1⁄2-1 cup cheese, grated,i usually use cheddar or 1⁄2-1 cup gouda cheese
- salt, to taste
- pepper, freshly ground,to taste
- Preheat oven to 400°F/200°C/Gas 6.
- Heat a little oil in a n a frying pan and fry onions and ground beef, till beef is browned well.
- Season with salt and pepper.
- Add all the chopped vegetables, stewed tomatoes, ketchup, milk, oregano and vegetable stock granules (if you have stock cubes, just sprinkle 1/2 a cube over the top).
- Stir and allow to simmer for 5-10 minutes.
- Add the pasta and mix well.
- Transfer to an oven dish and top with grated cheese.
- Bake in the oven until the cheese has melted and is beginning to brown, approx 15 minutes.
- This will serve two as a main course or four as a side dish.
This recipe nearly perfectly captures the spirit of raiding a pantry to make a family-pleaser with minimal fuss. I didn't have the mushrooms so I 'improvised 'em out'. My only nit is it seems silly to brown that much beef in oil, but otherwise I prepared as prescribed and indeed produced a dish nearly as enjoyable as a ritualized lasagna for a fraction of the fuss Selecting oregano to stand out and belie this dish's budget roots is a good call.
This dish scored an 8 out of 10 on the picky-husband-o-meter (and that's pretty good!). I used lean ground turkey instead of beef to cut calories, and rigatoni pasta. I didn't have bell peppers or zucchini on hand but it still came out yummy.