Remember beefaroni? I am not sure what gave beefaroni such a bad reputation, but I often heard it referred to as barfaroni growing up. Now how can you like something with a name like that? Even if it is the most delicious food you have ever eaten.
I decided that it was time to serve this retro dish to my kids – and see if it deserved the barfaroni nick-name. Instead of making something up, I decided to dig deep into my old recipes. I wanted to find something that was a little more like mac-n-cheese with meet and a tomato base. I couldn’t believe it, but I found the perfect dish. The original recipe came from Cooking Light, although I adapted it slightly below.
The girls loved it – it was creamy like mac-n-cheese with a nice tomato flavor and the ground meat gave it some bite (and a little protein). The best part was that neither of them knew that there was shredded carrots in the sauce – which made it almost sweet tasting. This is great for a crowd, because it made a lot. At least a few nights worth of food in our household. Serve this with a salad, and you have a the perfect well-balanced retro meal – and I promise no one will call it barfaroni.
- 1 (8-ounce) package small elbow macaroni
- Cooking spray
- 1 cup chopped onion
- 1 cup shredded carrot
- 2 teaspoons minced garlic
- 1 pound ground turkey
- 1 cup tomato sauce
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt, divided
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1 cup fat-free milk
- 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1 1/2 cups (6 ounces) shredded sharp cheddar cheese, divided
Preheat oven to 350°.
Cook pasta according to the package directions, omitting salt and fat; drain. Lightly coat pasta with cooking spray.
Heat a Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Coat pan with cooking spray. Add onion and carrot, and sauté 4 minutes. Add garlic; sauté 1 minute. Add ground beef; cook 5 minutes or until browned, stirring to crumble. Add tomato sauce, 1/2 teaspoon salt and pepper. Cook for 2 minutes or until most of liquid evaporates.
Add pasta to beef mixture in pan, stirring to combine. Spoon pasta mixture into an 11 x 7-inch baking dish coated with cooking spray.
Place milk, flour, nutmeg, and remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt in a medium saucepan; stir with a whisk until blended. Cook over medium heat 2 minutes or until thickened, stirring constantly with a whisk. Add 1 cup cheese, stirring until smooth. Pour cheese mixture over pasta mixture; stir. Top evenly with remaining 1/2 cup cheese. Bake at 350° for 20 minutes or until lightly browned. Let stand 5 minutes before serving.
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