It’s time for recipe #2 in our Ground Beef Series.

I chose this recipe yesterday because I was facing down three school-weary and slightly-grumpy kids. Dinner had to be a crowd pleaser, it just had to be. Pasta seemed like the obvious choice.

I am happy to report that all of my family enjoyed this dish. You would not believe how blessedly quiet it was while they licked their plates clean! I served this with a plate of fresh veggies and let them choose their favorite dips.

This recipe took about 40 minutes from start to finish, but it was simple to make. I do plan to make this again for my family and next time I am considering changing up the cheeses…maybe fontina? Or gruyere?


Quick Pastitsio
Total time: 40 minutes
Serves 6
8 oz. uncooked penne
1 lb. ground sirloin
1 T. olive oil
1 1/2 C. chopped onion
5 garlic cloves, minced
3/4 tsp. kosher salt
1 T. all-purpose flour
2 C. fat-free milk
1 (14.5-oz.) can diced tomatoes, drained
1/2 C. (4 oz.) 1/3-less-fat cream cheese
1 (3-oz.) package fat-free cream cheese
3/4 C. (3 oz.) shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese
2 T. chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
1. Preheat broiler.
2. Cook pasta according to package directions, omitting salt and fat. Drain.
3. Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Coat pan with cooking spray. Add beef to pan; sauté 5 minutes or until browned, stirring to crumble. Remove beef from pan; drain. Wipe pan clean with paper towels. Add oil to pan; swirl to coat. Add onion; sauté 4 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add garlic; sauté 1 minute, stirring constantly. Add beef; sprinkle with salt. Add flour; cook 1 minute, stirring frequently. Stir in milk, tomatoes, and cream cheeses, stirring until smooth; bring to a simmer. Cook 2 minutes or until thoroughly heated. Stir in pasta.
4. Spoon pasta mixture into a 13×9-inch broiler-safe baking dish coated with cooking spray. Sprinkle mozzarella evenly over top. Broil 4 minutes or until golden. Sprinkle with parsley. (I completely forgot the parsley! Oops!)