Friday, May 27, 2011

Beefy cheesy noodle bake: a recipe

Beefy cheesy noodle bake
We just bought a new house!

Yes, I know that has nothing to do with beefy cheesy noodle bake, but it does explain why I went AWOL for a week.

Several blog-worthy notes about the new house that will benefit you:
  1. It has a giant garden, which I just planted with local seedlings, so you will be getting more fresh-from-the-yarden recipes in real time
  2. It has a wee orchard with apple, pear, cherry, peach and apricot trees, as well as blueberry and raspberry bushes, so you will see more on canning and preserving (or waging war against invasive bugs, depending on my success)
  3. It is getting a kitchen facelift, so you will see  neato before and after pix and get to share in my DIY trials and tribulations
And now back to the beefy cheesy noodle bake... just look at it up there ... it's awesome, go make it.

Beef, Cheese and Noodle Bake (adapted just a bit from Cooking Light)

8 oz. small elbow macaroni (I like whole wheat)
2 tsp. olive oil
1 cup chopped onion
1 cup shredded carrot
2 teaspoons minced garlic
1 pound lean ground beef (I use bison, actually)
1 cup tomato sauce or marinara sauce
1 teaspoon kosher salt, divided
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1 cup fat-free milk
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 1/2 cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese

Preheat oven to 350°. Cook pasta according to the package directions, drain.

Heat oil in a large pan over medium-high heat. Add onion and carrot, and sauté 4 minutes. Add garlic; sauté 1 minute. Add 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 for 20 minutes or until lightly browned. Let stand 5 minutes before serving.


  1. BISON???? Oy. But I'll make this for sure--maybe even this weekend. My kid that won't eat hamburger (or bison, wacky kid) also won't eat cheese, so we pretty much let him fend for himself anyway. He can eat cereal.

  2. Bison tastes just like beef, it's just much healthier (very lean). You cannot tell the difference in a dish like this. I'm sure they even have it in Alabama -- check the Publico or that fancy-dancy market whose name I can never remember.

  3. I had just bought some grass fed, no growth hormone bison at the Durham farmers market and when I read your recipe - dinner was done! :) So yummy and definitely one to make and stick in the freezer!!

  4. Well......OK, if you say so.

  5. So delicious! Thanks Julianne.