EASY CHEESY MINCE & MAC

Prep: 10 minutes     Cook: 25 minutes    
Serves: 4 - 6

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).

Ingredients

  • 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
For the pasta:
  • 500 g Pasta Grandé Macaroni
  • 1 tsp (5 ml) salt
  • 4 litres water

Method

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. In a separate small bowl, use a fork to whisk together the gravy powder and 6 Tbsp water until smooth.
  5. 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.
  6. 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).
  7. Drain the pasta using a big colander, then tip it back into its cooking pot.
  8. 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.
  9. Serve hot in bowls, topped with the remaining cheese.
 Papa Grandé’s Tips
  • 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.
  • 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
For the pasta:
  • 500 g Pasta Grandé Macaroni
  • 1 tsp (5 ml) salt
  • 4 litres water
  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. In a separate small bowl, use a fork to whisk together the gravy powder and 6 Tbsp water until smooth.
  5. 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.
  6. 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).
  7. Drain the pasta using a big colander, then tip it back into its cooking pot.
  8. 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.
  9. Serve hot in bowls, topped with the remaining cheese.
 Papa Grandé’s Tips
  • 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.

Related Hint

Easy Cheesy Mince & Mac

For an extra kick, serve your Mince & Mac with a dollop of sweet chilli sauce.

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