Saturday, February 20, 2010

Taco Pasta

Tonight my husband chose for us to have Taco Pasta for dinner (last night I chose Chicken Kievs). I got this recipe from Everyday With Rachel Ray magazine. I have learned from experience that I do not always like the seasonings she uses in her dishes, so I will list my changes at the end.

1 lb. penne rigata
1 tbsp. EVOO
1 lb. ground beef sirloin
1 large onion, chopped
1 large jalapeno, halved, seeded if desired, and thinly sliced crosswise
4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
2 tbsp. chili powder
1 tbsp. ground coriander
1 1/2 tsp. cumin
1/4 cup tomato paste
1 12oz. bottle of beer or 1 1/2 cups chicken stock
2 cups shredded cheddar or any mexican style blend cheese
2 small plum tomatoes, chopped
1/4 head iceburg lettuce, chopped

Cook pasta according to package directions. Drain well.
Meanwhile, in a large skillet heat EVOO over medium-high heat. Add beef and cook until browned, about 5 minutes. Add 3/4 of the onion, the jalapeno, garlic, chili powder, coriander, and cumin; season with salt & pepper. Cook until the onion is soft, 6-7 minutes. Stir in the tomato paste for 1 minute, then stir in the beer.
Add the meat mixture to the pasta and stir well. Spoon into serving dish, top with cheese and tent with foil to melt the cheese. Top with remaining onion, tomatoes and lettuce.

Here are my changes: I did not use any of the spices listed in the recipe and instead used a taco seasoning packet. I did not use ground sirloin and therefore did not need the olive oil. I used half beer and half chicken stock. I stirred the cheese into the meat mixture, and kept the lettuce and tomato on the side for each person to add themselves.

We really liked this! We love tex-mex dishes and this was something different but with the flavors we love. You could also serve it with sour cream and taco sauce on the side for people to customize their dinner.

My daughter went to a birthday party today which started at a nail salon for the girls to get manicures and then moved to the birthday girls house for pizza and cake and games. She had a really great time and her nails are adorable; light pink with tiny white daisies painted on alternate fingers. Cute, huh?

Happy eating!


  1. I really have to stop reading your blog when I'm hungry. My goodness, that sounds fantastic.

    And that birthday party sounds like a great idea! Our soccer team last year (I coached my 6-year-old daughter's team) had a party at build-a-bear and that was fun, but I bet they would have also liked to get all pampered and stuff like that. I'll have to remember that.

  2. what a cute idea for the birthday party to get manicures; I bet they all had a blast!! this taco pasta looks good too, but alas, I'm on that (darn) South Beach diet so I can't have too many (any) carbs so I'll have to shelf this for a bit

    have a great Sunday


  3. That Taco Pasta sounds great! Definitely saving that one!

    My daughter loves getting her nails done - I'm definitely going to look into that type of birthday party for her when the time comes. Last year at BJ's they had a booth set up where they were selling these nail polish pens - they'd do a design for free for you as a demo...we were there every week! :)

  4. Am I the only person on the planet who doesn't know what EVOO is? Please enlighten me!

    Still, looks like a yummy recipe. I don't know how many times I've been able to come here to visit you and found a great recipe for dinner! Thank you!!

  5. Sorry for the abreviation confusion - EVOO is extra virgin olive oil. :)

  6. Ahhh....extra virgin olive oil. Just call me blonde and I'll move on. ;)

    Thanks for the explanation!!