Yield: 8 servings (serving size: about 1 cup)
- 1 (8-ounce) package small elbow macaroni
- Cooking spray
- 1 cup prechopped onion
- 1 cup preshredded carrot
- 2 teaspoons bottled minced garlic
- 1 pound lean ground sirloin
- 1 cup tomato sauce
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt, divided
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1 cup fat-free milk
- 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1 1/2 cups (6 ounces) 2% reduced-fat shredded sharp cheddar cheese (such as Cracker Barrel), divided
- Preheat oven to 350°.
- Cook pasta according to the package directions, omitting salt and fat; drain. Lightly coat pasta with cooking spray.
- Heat a Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Coat pan with cooking spray. Add onion and carrot, and sauté 4 minutes. Add garlic; sauté 1 minute. Add ground beef; cook 5 minutes or until browned, stirring to crumble. Add tomato sauce, 1/2 teaspoon salt and pepper. Cook for 2 minutes or until most of liquid evaporates.
- Add pasta to beef mixture in pan, stirring to combine. Spoon pasta mixture into an 11 x 7-inch baking dish coated with cooking spray.
- Place milk, flour, nutmeg, and remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt in a medium saucepan; stir with a whisk until blended. Cook over medium heat 2 minutes or until thickened, stirring constantly with a whisk. Add 1 cup cheese, stirring until smooth. Pour cheese mixture over pasta mixture; stir. Top evenly with remaining 1/2 cup cheese. Bake at 350° for 20 minutes or until lightly browned. Let stand 5 minutes before serving.
For creamiest results, do not overbake.