Creamy Baked Beefaroni

This is a recipe I created for Rose Reisman’s Enlightened Home Cooking back in the late ’90s. I find it even more delicious today and I’ve simplified it so it takes less time. It has become a weekly staple in our home, and lately I’ve been substituting ground soy for the ground beef, which adds to the soy protein in our diet. The soy version is also great for vegetarians or for people who keep kosher. I freeze portions for future meals.

1. Preheat the oven to 450°F. Spray a 13-by 9-inch glass baking dish with cooking oil.

2. Bring a large pot of water to a boil and cook the penne for 8 to 10 minutes, or until tender but firm. Drain.

3. Heat the oil in a non-stick saucepan over medium heat. Add the onions and garlic and sauté until softened, about 4 minutes. Stir in the beef and cook, stirring to break up the meat, until no longer pink, about 4 minutes. Stir in the tomato sauce and stock. Cover and cook for 10 minutes, or until thickened. Set aside.

4. Whisk the flour, milk, and stock in a non-stick saucepan until smooth. Place over medium heat and cook until the mixture begins to boil. Reduce the heat to low and continue to cook, stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes or until thickened. Stir in the cheddar cheese. Remove from the heat. Stir the cheese sauce into the meat sauce.

5. Toss the pasta with the sauce. Pour into the prepared baking dish. Sprinkle with the mozzarella and Parmesan cheeses.

6. Bake in the center of the oven for 10 minutes, until bubbly.

1 lb penne
1/2 cup beef or chicken stock
1 tsp vegetable oil
1 cup chopped onions
2 tsp minced fresh garlic
12 oz extra-lean ground beef
1 3/4 cups tomato-based pasta sauce
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
2 cups low-fat milk
1 3/4 cups beef or chicken stock
1 cup shredded light cheddar cheese
2 Tbsp grated Parmesan cheese
1/2 cup shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese

Nutritional Analysis per Serving

Calories 326
Protein 21 g
Fat 7.2 g
Saturated Fat 3.3 g
Carbohydrates 44 g
Cholesterol 21 mg
Sodium 50 mg
Fiber 2.5 g

Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes

Make Ahead: Prepare to the baking stage and freeze for up to 2 months; thaw before baking. Or bake and freeze for up to 1 month.

Serves 10