Isn't that just the stinking cutest name you've ever heard?
This is pasta.
You bake it.
It has all the components of a Philly Cheesesteak, but it has pasta instead of bread.
It has breadcrumbs though, so don't worry!
It's like, really, really good.
You can make it ahead of time and bake it later if you want.
I hope you like it!
I made this one night when I had lots of random ingredients at home, and it turned out really well! It uses inexpensive ingredients that can be swapped out depending on what you have in the house or the tastes of the people you're feeding. This week, when people are in and out, this is a great variation of a one-dish casserole that can feed a crowd of picky and non-picky eaters alike!
This serves 6 - double it and use two large dishes if you've got a whole gang of hungry folk!
As always, the measurements are adjustable. If you like more meat, use more meat. If you like more veggies, use more - you're the boss!
- ½ lb cube steak
- 1 teaspoon steak seasoning or coarse salt and pepper
- ⅔ lb egg noodles or other short pasta
- 1 green pepper
- 1 medium onion (or half a large onion, whatever)
- pickled jalapenos (as many as you like!)
- 2 cloves garlic
- 3 tablespoons butter
- 1 tablespoon flour
- 1 cup half and half or milk
- 4 oz cream cheese
- 1 cup shredded white cheese (provolone, mozzarella, whatever you like!)
- ½ cup chicken stock or pasta water
- 3 slices bread or 6 crackers, for the topping
This isn't hard to make in the slightest, but there are a lot of steps. I use one pot for the pasta and one pan for everything else and make the meat, then the veggies, then the sauce and mix it all together. I use a separate small skillet for the bread crumbs, but if you have a ton of time you could do the bread crumbs first and THEN start with the meat. How many things you have working at once is totally up to you! But, you could speed things up by making it in 4 pans then combining everything in a casserole dish.
Bring a large pot of water to a boil, add at least 2 tablespoons salt to it, and cook the pasta according to package directions MINUS TWO MINUTES (it'll keep cooking in the oven later) while you're working on the other steps. I like egg noodles for this, but use whatever you like!
For the bread crumbs, whenever you choose to make them, combine 1.5 tablespoons of butter and the bread or crackers in a food processor for just a few seconds until you have big bread crumbs and globs of butter.
You can use store-bought bread crumbs mixed with a little melted butter, too, that's fine.
Heat a skillet to medium heat and toast the bread crumbs for about 5 minutes until they're crispy, then remove them from the heat and keep them armed and ready to top the casserole later on.
Don't let them burn! Making your own bread crumbs is fun!
Now, for the rest of the casserole.
Cube steak is cheap and tender and wonderful, huh?
Slice the meat into thin strips, and pat it dry with paper towels.
Heat a large pan to medium high. Toss the steak with the steak seasoning, and sear the steak on all sides for about 5 minutes until it's nice and brown on the outsides - no worries if it isn't cooked through!
While the meat is browning, cut up your veggies! I like big chunks for this recipe - kind of the same size as the meat and noodles.
When the meat is nice and brown, remove it to a plate or the floor or a casserole dish. Add the onion and pepper to the pan and saute for about 3 minutes until the edges start to brown.
When the veggies have started to soften, add the garlic, pickled jalapenos, and 2 tablespoons of the jalapeno juice - leave this part out if you're scared of spicy things.
Saute the peppers and garlic and onions for about 1 minute more until you can smell the garlic, then remove the veggies from the pan.
Now, onto the sauce! Add the rest of the butter to the pan with 1 tablespoon of flour.
Whisk the butter and flour for about a minute until it makes a nice paste, then whisk in the half and half or milk. Let that come to a light boil so the sauce thickens.
Then, add the chicken stock, cream cheese, and grated cheese to the mixture and mix that in too - if the sauce seems overly thick add more pasta water or chicken stock - it should be loose enough to cover everything that's going into the casserole!
Add a sprinkle of salt and pepper here too and taste the cheese sauce to make sure it's delicious.
Now, it's time to assemble the casserole! Using the pasta pot or a large bowl, combine the cooked pasta, meat, and the veggies. Use a big pot!
I had the meat and veggies waiting in the casserole dish - who cares, it's all going to end up back in there anyway!
So, here's where we are:
See? The bread crumbs are in the back chillin, and I'm getting ready to add the sauce to the pot.
My kitchen is tiny and gross, but that ain't stoppin' me.
Preheat the oven here, too, if you're serving this right away. 375 or 400F should do it.
Add the sauce to the pot and stir everything together, and die of happiness. The mixture should be kind of soupy, since some of the liquid will be absorbed by the pasta, so add more chicken stock, pasta water, or milk if you need to!
Add the whole lovely mixture to the casserole dish of your choice, then top it with the bread crumbs.
Nice! Now, cover this and stick it in the fridge for a few days, or bake it right away for 30 minutes until it's bubbly and the top is dark and crispy.
If you are heating this up from the fridge, allow about 45 minutes for it to heat through, and cover it with tin foil for the first 30 minutes so the top doesn't get too dark.
Then, it'll look like this, which is gorgeous.
Toasting the topping in the pan first and then in the oven makes it buttery, crunchy, and fabulous.
Enjoy this one, people! It's not hard but has unique flavors that you'll love!
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