When I was very small, my mother worked at a restaurant owned by a German guy named Heinrich. Heinrich named the restaurant after himself. Or, rather, after the nickname for the name “Heinrich.”
Do you know the nickname for Heinrich?
Do you see where this is going?
Yes. Dear old Heinrich named his restaurant “Heinie’s.” I am not joking.
One would think that having a name that is the slang term for one’s butt would have turned people off from wanting to eat there, but he actually did pretty good business. And he apparently had pretty good food.
One of the dishes that he made was something called Tallerine. Until precisely 5 minutes ago, I’d always believed he invented this dish, because I’ve never met anyone else who knew about it. I searched online just to make sure, though – you know, so that I wouldn’t be wrong on the internet – and was surprised to find tons of pages about it. So, Heinie didn’t invent it. But he did give my family the idea for making it, and I’ve never in my life met anyone else who knew about it, so he still gets the credit as far as I’m concerned!
Tallerine (or my version of it, at any rate) is pasta, ground beef, tomatoes, corn, and spices mixed together and then baked with shredded cheddar cheese on top. It’s a simple and yet delicious combination of flavors, and is a staple in our house because it’s so easy and is an all-in-one dish. I’ll often make the meat part ahead of time and freeze it, so on busy days all I have to do is thaw it and make the pasta, and then stick it in the oven. This is a great recipe to have in your repertoire to pull out when you don’t know what else to make!
Just brown the ground beef in a skillet, adding in a bit of olive oil if it’s lean.
Add the onions and garlic, and cook for about 5 minutes.
Add in a can of corn (or equivalent of frozen or fresh), and a can of chopped tomatoes (or equivalent of fresh).
Mix it all together. Depending on if you used fresh/frozen or canned veggies, you might need to add some liquid. I find that the canned veggies usually have enough liquid in them, but if it’s dry add in some chicken or vegetable broth. You basically want there to be enough juices in there for it to bubble away without burning!
Stir in 2-3 Tbsp (or one small can) of tomato paste.
Then cover and let it simmer on low for about half an hour.
Cook up some egg noodles. I use 100% whole spelt egg noodles from VitaSpelt, and they’re really good! They’re my favorite non-wheat pasta. (I had to order them from Amazon, though, because I couldn’t find them anywhere.)
Put the noodles back in the large pot in which they were cooked, and pour in the meat mixture and stir it all together.
Pour it all into a greased large casserole dish.
And top with shredded cheddar cheese.
Bake at 350 for about 20 minutes, or until the cheese is completely melted.
If you want to make this ahead for a quick meal in the future, just cook up the meat part and then freeze it. When you’re ready, heat it back up, and cook the pasta – then combine, top with cheese, and bake like usual.
You can also vary this up as you like! Want more of a kick to it? Add some chili powder or some chopped jalapenos. Try substituting some sausage for part of the beef. Use a different cheese. Add in some carrots or other veggies along with or instead of the corn. It’s one of those great versatile recipes that we all need!
- 1.5 lbs ground beef (preferably grass fed. At the least look for ground whole cuts of meat with no fillers.)
- 1 small onion, chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 Tbsp oregano
- 1 Tbsp dried parsley
- 1 tsp basil
- ½ tsp salt
- ½ tsp ground pepper
- 1 can corn, or equivalent of fresh or frozen (preferably organic)
- 1 large can diced tomatoes, or equivalent of fresh
- small can tomato paste
- chicken or vegetable broth
- 12 oz whole grain egg noodles (I love VitaSpelt)
- 8 oz cheddar cheese, grated
- Preheat oven to 350.
- Brown the ground beef in a skillet, and then add in the spices.
- Add the onion and garlic and cook and stir for about 5 minutes.
- Add in the corn, tomato paste, and tomatoes.
- If the mixture is dry, pour in some chicken or vegetable broth. You want there to be about 1½ cups of liquid in the skillet so that it can bubble gently as it simmers without burning.
- Simmer on low for about half an hour.
- Cook the pasta according to package directions.
- Mix together the pasta and the meat mixture, and then pour it into a greased large casserole dish.
- Cover completely with grated cheddar cheese.
- Bake uncovered for 20-30 minutes, or until the cheese is completely melted.
- OPTIONS: For a more Mexican kick add in some chili powder and/or a chopped jalapeno pepper. Try using some sausage in place of some of the ground beef. Try using different cheeses. Try using different veggies like chopped carrots or zucchini instead of or in addition to the corn. Try adding in other ingredients that might appeal to you like olives or green peppers.
This post is part of Real Food Wednesday