Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Beef and Pumpkin Pasta Bake (gluten free)

The time has come for comfort foods. I'm craving soups and hearty one pot dishes a lot these days. This afternoon as I sat down to figure out what I was going to make for dinner, I had no particular ideas in mind, other than something quick and comforting and satisfying... a pasta bake idea started to percolate. Digging around in the fridge and pantry, I started pulling out ingredients, hoping to make some sort of sense of them all.

This is what came of it. It actually reminded me a lot of the Hamburger Helper's of my childhood past. A dish so great, everyone gobbled it up in a hurry. My almost two year old kept asking for, "Mooaaar" with his cute sign language hand motions.

I love that it has pumpkin in it, helping us to savor the flavors of fall. But yet it does not have an overtly "pumpkin" taste. Rather it just adds some rich creaminess and color, and is also a great way to add extra nutrients and "sneak" in veggies that kids don't really know are in there. (This is a handy tool these days as my youngest child refuses to eat vegetables... a constant source of frustration for me!) Hopefully soon he will learn to love his vegetables as his older brother does, and in the meantime, recipes like this one are lifesavers for mom's with a child like mine.

Beef and Pumpkin Pasta Bake

8 oz. brown rice penne
1 tablespoon coconut oil
1 medium onion
5 cloves garlic
1 pound grass fed ground beef
1 14 oz. can diced tomatoes
1 cup pumpkin puree
5 oz. cream cheese
1 teaspoon dried thyme
salt, pepper
3/4 cup shredded mozzarella or cheddar cheese

Cook penne in a pot of gentle boiling water for 8-10 minutes. Drain.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees and coat a 9x13 inch pan lightly with coconut oil cooking spray.

Meanwhile, heat coconut oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Chop onion and garlic and add to pan. Cook for 3-4 minutes, until translucent. Add beef and crumble as you cook until beef is browned. Add tomatoes, pumpkin, cream cheese, thyme, salt, and pepper. Stir and cook until cream cheese is melted. Add cooked penne and stir.

Pour into prepared pan. Top with shredded cheese. Bake for 10 minutes, until cheese in melted.

1 comment:

  1. This looks delicious, healthy, and exactly what I was looking for. Making this tonight!! YUM!!! Thanks.