Macaroni and Ground Beef (Two Ways)
This is the last of the three recipes we tried out from the AllRecipes Australia / New Zealand website and after several changes I REALLY enjoyed this one and would definitely play around with it more in the future. The original recipe makes TWO 9x13 pans, so I cut everything in half below, except for the white sauce which we didn't have enough of (which is why I had to add a jar of spaghetti sauce to ours before baking). If you try this recipe, I think it would be great with just the white sauce but it may need additional seasoning (Italian seasoning, basil, garlic powder, onion powder, etc., to taste) but with the addition of already seasoned spaghetti sauce, flavor wasn't an issue for me. I loved how creamy this dish came out, with the inclusion of the white sauce and mozzarella, and we really enjoyed this dish - I was happy to have the leftovers the next day!
The original poster of this recipe on the AllRecipes site says "This is a pasta bake similar to macaroni and cheese but closer to the way they serve it in Egypt." I found that interesting, and all the more reason I'm looking forward to trying this again with more of the white sauce and leaving the spaghetti sauce out next time! I left the original instructions below on assembling this dish - but we mixed everything together in the large pot that held the macaroni (the sauce, the pasta, the cheese, and the meat) and combined it evenly before spreading in the pasta dish which I thought worked really well and was a little simpler. You can try it either way! Whichever way you make it, this is a filling, hearty and tasty pasta dish!
Macaroni and Beef from Noura on AllRecipes AU
13-oz uncooked macaroni
1/4 cup, plus 1/2 tablespoon vegetable oil, divided
1 chicken bouillon cube
1/2 large onion, chopped
1 lb ground beef
2 tablespoons tomato paste
Salt to taste
Ground black pepper to taste
3/4 cup flour
3 cups milk
1/2 teaspoon ground white pepper
3 cups grated mozzarella cheese
OPTIONAL: 1 24 or 26-oz jar spaghetti sauce (either in place of, or in addition to the white sauce, or you can reduce the amount of white sauce by half and add the spaghetti sauce to supplement)
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease a 9x13 baking dish.
- Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Add pasta, 1/2 tablespoon oil and bouillon cube and cook for 8 to 10 minutes or until al dente; drain and return to pot, removed from heat.
- Cook ground beef and diced onion over medium heat until meat is evenly browned, and onions are tender (about 15 minutes). Drain grease and return meat mixture to pan. Stir in tomato paste, along with the salt and pepper to taste; simmer over low heat until heated through.
- Heat 1/4 cup oil in a deep saucepan; stir in flour then milk (whisk quickly and thoroughly to blend the flour and milk in). Cook over medium-low heat until sauce thickens; stir in salt to taste and white pepper. Pour half of the sauce over the cooked macaroni and stir in mozzarella cheese.
- Spoon half of the macaroni into prepared dish and top with ground beef mixture. Spoon the remaining macaroni over the beef and top with remaining white sauce.
- Bake in preheated oven for 30 minutes or until golden brown.