Sometimes the least thought out dishes, with just the basic ingredients can be the most comforting. Case and point…this recipe. I will set the scene for you: it’s the beginning of fall in Minnesota (pretty much the best time of year). This means we are all excited to put on our jeans and long sleeves and welcome the cooler weather. But we are cautiously excited, knowing that this moment is the gateway to fierce winds and freezing temperatures and a long winter ahead. So we are left to embrace each day that it is beautiful by staying outdoors as much as possible.
While we were soaking up a day like this, we stayed outside too long and came in at dinner time, hungry and I had no plans for dinner. I started grabbing ingredients out of the fridge and ended up with this one-dish-wonder. It’s kind of a throwback to my childhood when Hamburger Helper had just come out and my siblings and I secretly loved when my mom had to work and left us with a box to make.
I have dozens of ripe garden tomatoes, so I used them which made the freshest, simple sauce but you could substitute a can of diced tomatoes. Feel free to substitute or add ingredients as you wish. We are dealing with fresh tomato sauce, garlic, pasta and mozzarella cheese here. You could throw in spinach, mushrooms, you name it, and it will taste amazing!
- 1 lb ground beef
- 1 small bell pepper, seeded and diced
- 1 small onion, diced
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- salt/pepper to taste
- ½ tsp dried basil (or 1-2 Tbls fresh basil)
- ½ tsp dried oregano
- ½ tsp crushed red pepper
- 3 medium-large sized tomatoes, peeled and chopped (or a can of diced tomatoes)
- 2 c wide egg noodles (or any pasta)
- ¾ c water
- 1 c shredded mozzarella
- ¼ c shredded parmesan cheese
- In a large skillet over medium heat add ground beef and begin to brown. Once it is about half-way cooked through add peppers, onions, garlic and seasoning. Continue to stir and cook until beef is cooked through. Drain excess grease if necessary.
- Add tomatoes, pasta and water and stir. Cover skillet and simmer for about 10 minutes or until pasta is al dente.
- Add cheese and stir. Continue to cook until cheese is melted.