So now that summer’s winding down… well, actually here it seems to be just getting started. Sad. But back home the weather’ll be cooling off soon and all the kiddos are back in school. So here are a couple of hearty, dinner time dishes that are not only delicious, but are full of whole wheat pasta and veggies too! They’ll leave you full and QUITE satisfied… and WHO doesn’t love cheese?!
First up…a dish that was ranked number 5 in Rach’s “Top Ten” recipes of the year 2009 and it’s quickly become a favorite among friends and family!
Chili Cheeseburger Mac & Cheese Rachael Ray
2 tbsp EVOO
1 ½ lbs ground sirloin
1 onion (finely chopped)
2 tbsp chili powder
½ cup ketchup
¼ cup mustard
1 cup beef stock
1 lb whole wheat elbow macaroni (I know… healthy right?!)
2 cups shredded sharp cheddar
First, get a big pot of salted water boiling. Cook your elbows to al dente, or package directions, and drain. Meanwhile…
Put a couple tbsp EVOO in a large skillet and get those onions cookin’! After about 5 minutes, add the beef, chili powder and S&P and cook for about 5-7 minutes. Then add the ketchup, mustard and stock and bring it up to a bubble! Let it simmer about 7 minutes or so until it’s nice and thick!
Grab your casserole dish and add the pasta and chili and stir to combine. Now take that cheese and cover it all up with yellow goodness.
Pop it under the broiler for a few to bubble and brown. I just love brown, bubbly cheese. Amen?
Now, for the number ONE dish in Rach’s “TOP TEN” … a dish that makes my mouth water just thinkin’ about it... a dish that was once my favorite dip… and is now one of my VERY favorite dishes. EVER. Oh goodness…
Spinach and Artichoke Mac & Cheese Rachael Ray
3 tbsp butter
1 lb whole wheat penne (or regular penne if you’re feeling ornery)
1 large onion (finely chopped)
3 tbsp flour
½ cup white wine
2 cups milk
A pinch of nutmeg
10oz frozen chopped spinach (defrosted and wrung dry in a kitchen towel)
10oz artichoke hearts (I use canned, drained and quartered)
2 cup Fontina cheese (freshly shredded, plus more for going up on top)
1 cup grated Parm (plus more for going up on top!)
First, I suggest you do a little prep work… chop your onions, shred your cheese, measure out the flour in a small bowl, uncork the wine, grab the measuring cups for the cheese, quarter and drain your artichokes, defrost and squeeze dry the spinach… just a suggestion.
Now go ahead and get your big pot of salted water boiling. Cook your pasta to al dente or package directions. Drain and set aside.
Grab a big skillet and get the onions cooking in 2 tablespoons of EVOO and 3 tablespoons of butter. Let ‘em get nice and soft… about ten minutes. Then sprinkle in your flour. Let it cook for a minute. Now add the wine and let it cook for a few minutes to burn off the alcohol. Whisk in your milk, S&P, and nutmeg and bring it up to a bubble. Then add the spinach and artichokes and cook for 3 minutes till they’re hot. Start adding your cheeses 1 cup at a time and stir until it’s a one big skillet of delicious meltyness.
Now get out that casserole dish again and add the pasta and sauce and stir to combine. Top it with plenty of shredded Fontina and Parm and pop it under the broiler to get the cheese … that’s right… BROWN and BUBBLY! Mmmmm….