EASY CHEESY MINCE & MAC
Very few kids can resist a bowl of hot macaroni with a beefy tomato sauce and plenty of melted cheese. We’ve sneaked carrots into this quick recipe, a delicious stand-by for toddlers and children (and for hungry teens and adults who crave fast comfort food).
Prep: 10 minutes Cook: 25 minutes Serves: 4 - 6
- 2 Tbsp (30 ml) vegetable oil
- 1 onion, finely chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, peeled and crushed
- 500 g lean beef mince
- 1 x 400 g tin chopped tomatoes
- 3 Tbsp (45 ml) tomato paste
- 2 carrots, peeled and coarsely grated
- 2 tsp (10 ml) mixed dried herbs
- 1½ cups (375 ml) water or stock
- 1 Tbsp (15 ml) Bisto gravy powder, plus 6 Tbsp (90 ml) water, for mixing
- 2 cups (500 ml) grated Cheddar cheese
- salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 500 g Pasta Grandé Macaroni
- 1 tsp (5 ml) salt
- 4 litres water
- Heat the oil in a pot and gently fry the onion for about 4 minutes, or until just soft. Add the garlic and fry for one more minute, without letting it brown.
- Turn up the heat and add the mince, using a fork to break up any clumps. Fry the mince for 5 minutes, or until there are no traces of pink meat.
- Stir in the tinned tomatoes, tomato paste, grated carrots, dried herbs and 1½ cups water or stock. Briskly bubble the sauce, uncovered, over a medium-high heat, stirring now and then, for 10 minutes, or it has turned a rich red.
- In a separate small bowl, use a fork to whisk together the gravy powder and 6 Tbsp water until smooth.
- Add the gravy powder/water mix to the pot, stirring constantly to prevent lumps forming. When the sauce has thickened, simmer it over a low heat for a further 5 minutes.
- While the sauce is cooking, bring the water and salt to a fast boil in a large pot. Add all the pasta in one go and stir to separate the pieces. Briefly cover the pot with a lid until the water comes back to a rapid boil. Cook, uncovered, stirring now and then, for 6-8 minutes, or until just tender (al dente).
- Drain the pasta using a big colander, then tip it back into its cooking pot.
- Immediately pour the mince sauce into the pot of pasta, add 1½ cups of the grated Cheddar and stir gently until the cheese has melted. Season to taste with salt and black pepper.
- Serve hot in bowls, topped with the remaining cheese.
- We have left wine out of this recipe to make it suitable for kids, but you can use it in place of water or stock in this recipe.
- For an indulgent topping for adult comfort food, sprinkle your Mince & Mac with grated Parmesan, a dash of Tabasco sauce and a shower of chopped fresh parsley.
- Other Pasta Grandé shapes you can use in this recipe: Gnocchi, Shells, Cavatappi, Elbows and Screws.
Easy Cheesy Mince & Mac
For an extra kick, serve your Mince & Mac with a dollop of sweet chilli sauce.