Giada De Laurentiis Makes Italian Helper | Food Network

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When you’re craving comfort food, Giada’s “Italian Helper” is the answer.

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Italian Helper
Level: Easy
Total: 30 min
Active: 30 min
Yield: 4 to 6 servings


Kosher salt
1 pound elbow macaroni
8 ounces ground beef sirloin
8 ounces sweet Italian sausage, casings removed
1/4 cup olive oil
2 shallots, diced
1 clove garlic, peeled and smashed
1 1/2 cups tomato puree, such as Mutti
2 cups freshly grated Parmesan
1/4 cup mascarpone
2 cups baby spinach, torn


Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over high heat. Add the macaroni and cook for 2 minutes less than the package directions, 3 to 4 minutes. Drain well.

Heat the olive oil in a large straight-sided skillet over medium-high heat. Add the ground sirloin and sausage and cook, breaking up the meats with the back of a wooden spoon, until cooked through and browned, 6 minutes. Stir in the shallots and garlic; cook 2 minutes. Deglaze with the tomato puree, add 1/2 teaspoon salt and stir to combine. Reduce the heat to medium and simmer for another 4 minutes.

Add the macaroni to the sauce, sprinkle the bare pasta with the Parmesan and mix well. Stir in the mascarpone and spinach and cook an additional 3 minutes, until the sauce is creamy and the spinach wilted.

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