3 cups (24 oz) marinara sauce (storebought or homemade)
1 batch easy alfredo sauce (recipe below)
1 can (15 oz) diced tomatoes, with juices
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 lbs ground beef (I used extra lean)
1 1/2 lbs penne noodles (I used whole wheat)
pinch of salt and pepper
Garnish: parmesan cheese and julienned basil
Easy Alfredo Sauce:
4 tbsp unsalted butter
3/4 cup heavy cream
1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
pinch of nutmeg
Black pepper and salt to taste
To make the alfredo:
Melt the butter in a large sauté pan set over low heat. Add the cream to the butter as it melts. Stir occasionally (keeping the heat on low). Let it simmer for about 15 minutes. When it’s reduced slightly, add the parmesan cheese, nutmeg, salt and pepper and stir. Set aside while you make the rest of the sauce. Stir the alfredo occasionally. Note: if the alfredo is WAY too thick for your liking, add some extra milk or cream (1 tbsp at a time) after it’s simmered and reduced.
To make the hamburger helper:
Brown the ground beef in a large skillet then drain the fat.
Add the garlic to the drained beef and cook for about 30 seconds. Then add the marinara and diced tomatoes. Bring to a boil. As soon as it starts to boil, turn down the heat to low and simmer for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the alfredo sauce a few minutes before you add the noodles.
While the sauce is cooking, boil the pasta noodles.