I have a soft spot in my heart for hamburger helper. I’m not sure why, as my mother never cooked it for us and when I was in grad school it was too expensive to make. But, there’s something deeply appealing about a flavorful ground beef and salty cheese over pasta.
Tonight I made something of a cross between cheeseburger macaroni and lasagna(1). It was so very, very good. Deeply satisfying, comforting and filling.
The pasta was tricolor farfale. The sauce was beef bolognese leftover from last night. The cheese sauce was made with a 2 year aged cheddar and a bit of English Mustard.
Bolognese started with a pound of ground beef browned in a little bit of bacon fat. Once the meat is cooked add one large onion, 5 cloves of garlic, lots of oregano, sliced mushrooms. Deglaze with a glass of red wine and add a can of diced tomatoes. Simmer until done or you can’t stand to not eat the yummy smelling sauce.
Cheese sauce is a simple béchamel. 1 tbsp flour, 1 tbsp butter cooked together. Add 1 cup of milk and 1.5 cups of grated cheddar. Finish with English Mustard moistened in a little white wine vinegar. Salt and pepper to taste.
Cook farfale for 8 – 9 minutes. It should still be a little undercooked. Mix with leftover sauce. Pour in casserole dish. Cover with cheese sauce. Bake at 300 for 30 minutes. Cover with grated parmesan and bake for another 15 minutes. Serve with a nice Syrah.
It was so satisfying.
(1) Not American style lasagna, but British style. No ricotta, just a cheese sauce.