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Photo Credit: Elizabeth Newman

Italian Helper

My Italian spin on Hamburger Helper has all the same nostalgic flavors you grew up on but with all fresh ingredients and mascarpone cheese!


Italian Helper



Prep Time

10 minutes

Cook Time

20 minutes




Giada De Laurentiis

Image of Italian Helper


  • 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)


  1. This recipe originally appeared on Giada Entertains. Episode: 70's Throwback Party.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.



Nutrition Serving Size
per serving
Amount/Serving % Daily Value
25 grams
16 grams
13 grams
Saturated Fat
6 grams
32 milligrams
403 milligrams
2 grams
3 grams
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1 comment

  • Author's avatar image
    Tara Altenbach

    Would this work well with ground chicken/turkey?

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