As some of you already know I am a lover of Mexican food and love me some tacos when I can get them. When I came across this recipe in the Everyday with Rachel Ray (no that is not where I got the idea for my blog title. I am just not very creative) I thought I should give it a try. I mean what can be wrong, taco meat, pasta, lettuce, and tomato. It was met with a little bit of discussion and after all was said and done aka I said this is what we are having and that's it, I made it.
I loved it being this is was what I was looking for. My husband liked the flavor but thought that texture of the pasta was strange to him. Which I can understand. When you are so used to eating tacos with your hard shell and then we introduce pasta to the dish it can be a bit disturbing. But as all know I like to add a little change and flavor to my meals. Love my Ole El Paso taco dinner kits but this was a great way to change up a favorite and make the meal a bit more sophisticated.
This meal also ended up feeding my picky daughter some meat too. I skipped the lettuce and tomato topping but she
ate devoured this meal 2 days in a row. I love it when I can get her to eat what we are eating. Something other then PB&J or processed food from a can or box. I mean what kid doesn't like tacos? Well my daughter would never try a taco with a shell but, HA HA, she liked this.
Pasta Taco Toss
Salt and Pepper
1 pound penne rigate (or your choice of pasta)
1 Tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1 pound of ground beef
1 large chopped onion
1 large jalapeno chili - halved, seeded if desired and thinly sliced crosswise
4 cloves of garlic, finally chopped
2 Tablespoons chili powder
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 tablespoon ground coriander
1/4 cup tomato paste
1 12 ounce bottle of beer or 1/ 1/2 cup chicken stock
2 cups shredded cheddar, monterey jack, or any Mexican semi-soft cheese
2 small plum tomatoes , seeded and chopped
1/4 head iceberg lettuce or 1/2 small heart romaine lettuce, chopped
Bring a large pot of water to boil, salt it, add the pasta and cook until al dente. Drain and return to the pot. While the pasta is working, in a large skillet, heat olive oil, over medium - high heat. Add the 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 and pepper. Cook until the onion is softened, 6 - 7 minutes. Stir in the tomato paste for 1 minute, then stir in beer. Add the sauce to the pasta and toss. Spoon into a serving dish, top with cheese and tent with foil to melt the cheese, about 1 minute. Top with remaining onion, the tomatoes and lettuce - just like tacos!