Sometimes I love to just get some boxed foods and make those for dinner but I have grown to despise the taste of salt. I know, totally un-American. During our early years of dating, my husband and I were either in college or fresh out in the new world so Ramen Noodles and Hamburger Helper stocked our cabinets as far as the eye could see. I really hated both because of the insane amount of sodium packed into them. My husband, however, absolutely loved them both. How we ever eat together is amazing to me every day.
So I saw this recipe on Annie's website and thought that my husband would love a "Hamburger Helper" night and I would love that it doesn't have that nasty, bloating sodium taste in it. We were both extremely pleased and I was happy that it made a lot so I could eat it all weekend for leftovers.
Creamy Taco Mac
1 1/4 lb ground beef
8 oz dry pasta shapes (I used mini-ziti)
1 small onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
1 can diced tomatoes, drained (14 oz)
4 tbsp taco seasoning
3 oz cream cheese
1/3 cup milk
2 tbsp butter
shredded cheddar cheese, for topping
Cook pasta according to package directions and drain, reserving 1/2 cup of pasta water. Set aside.
Meanwhile, in an extra-large skillet, brown the ground beef. A few minutes before it is done cooking completely, add the onions and cook until done. Add in garlic until fragrant (30 seconds). Mix in diced tomatoes and seasoning and let simmer for 5 minutes. Mix in the rest of the ingredients, including the reserved pasta water (except cheese) and mix well until blended. Simmer an additional 3-5 minutes to allow some of the liquid to reduce a bit. Serve with a sprinkle of cheese on top.