Penne Pasta with Creamy Beef and Mushroom Sauce

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This is another go-to dish which only takes less than half-an-hour to make. Yet, it won’t taste like a dish-in-a-rush. Believe me, I made few of those and regretted that if I had given it more time and respected the process it would have tasted better. But this recipe isn’t one of those.

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I always keep in my cupboard few cans of cream of mushroom or chicken or celery soup for days like this that I don’t have much time to make it from scratch. I’m glad that nowadays these cream soups also come in low-sodium varieties.

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For healthier option, you can get the ground beef on a ratio of 80%-20% or even 93%-7% lean vs. fat content. Also, you can choose to use gluten-free pasta or whole-wheat pasta to suit your diet. To substitute the cream, a mixture of cottage cheese (1 cup) and skim milk (1 cup) can be used; or a mixture of melted butter and skim milk with 1 cup each.


PENNE PASTA with CREAMY BEEF and MUSHROOM SAUCE
Yield: 5-6 Servings

We need —
* ground beef – 1 pound (lean)
* cream of mushroom soup – low sodium (1 family sized can 22.6 oz or 2 cans of 10.5 oz)
* onion – 1 big chopped
* sweet peppers – 1 chopped (optional)
* button mushrooms – 3 cups sliced and washed
* penne pasta – 1 pound
* olive oil
* spices: 2 tsp each (garlic powder, onion powder, paprika, oregano, basil)
* salt and pepper – to taste

To prepare —
1. Gather all the ingredients
2. Brown the meat and remove excess oil if there is.
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3.  Add the onions and let caramelize; then add the peppers.
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4. Make sure mushrooms are washed before adding it to the pan.
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5. Let it simmer until the mushroom wilt.
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6. Add the cream of mushroom soup and a little amount of water if it’s too thick. Let it simmer on medium heat, do not boil it or it will start to dry out. Set aside.
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7. Bring water to a boil. Add the pasta and cook it al dente. Al dente means pasta is firm not soggy but no grain when you bite on it. When you add the pasta, check it after 5 minutes. Otherwise, give it another 3 minutes then drain.
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8. While pasta is in the colander, bring it under running cold water to stop further cooking. Let it drain more and drizzle with olive oil generously. Leave pasta in the colander for few more minutes to drain excess oil.
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9. Serve pasta on the plate and top with creamy beef and mushroom sauce. Served best with garlic bread or breadsticks.
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Thank you for reading, happy cooking!
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