Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Creamy Pasta with Mushrooms and Ground Beef

This recipe, from my husband's Aunt Sally, yields a dish so yummy and comforting that a mere photo would not do it justice. Moreover, I don't have a photo. But imagine a white sauce-covered pasta studded with chopped mushrooms and small crumbles of nicely browned ground beef. Mmmm. So tasty. So creamy. So what if it's incredibly fattening? I guess you should probably serve small portions with a huge supply of green vegetables, but that might not stop people from taking second or third helpings.

1 box angel hair pasta
some pasta water reserved
1 1/2 c. sour cream (use nonfat!)
1/2 cup chicken or veggie stock
1 c. each, grated jack and cheddar cheeses
1 pkg. mushrooms, sauteed
1 lb. ground beef, cooked and drained thoroughly
1/2 tsp onion powder
salt and pepper to taste

Cook the pasta according to package directions and drain, reserving about 1 cup of the water just to keep the pasta wet while adding other ingredients. Brown the ground beef in a skillet. Drain the beef in a colander over the sink. Saute the mushrooms in the fat left from the beef. Drain mushrooms too!

Add pasta, 1/2 cup pasta water, stock, cheeses, sour cream, and spices together in a large pot. Stir thoroughly. Add mushrooms and beef. Add more pasta water or stock as necessary to keep sauce from getting too thick. When it's at the consistency you like, taste and season with salt and pepper as necessary. You might want to add a bit of crushed red pepper too, for a little kick.

You can also add red sauce to this, but I don't think it's necessary, and I can't comment on how it tastes because I didn't try it that way.

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