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Do you remember the crock pot tacos I made the other day? I know . . . so, so, SO tasty. I did end up with a bit of leftover beef however!
I hate waste in my kitchen, so I went on a search as to how to use it up. I wanted something different than what I have done in the past. I love hash and I love fried rice, but I have done them to death I think.
I noticed a recipe for a Cheesy Taco Pasta on Carlsbad Cravings. It looked rather good and since my meat had been slightly infused with Tex Mex flavours to begin with, I decided to go with it and let it inspire me.
And I literally did use it for inspiration only. I took it in a slightly different direction. Of course you could just use a pound of raw ground beef mince for this if you liked. But I hate waste and so I went with my leftover cooked beef.
My mom always said I could make the toe of an old boot taste good. I guess that is one of my talents. I have always been able to make leftovers taste brand new.
This was spicy and cheesy and rich, rich, rich. I didn’t have any enchilada sauce, but I didn’t let that stop me.
I used a TBS of MILD chili powder in its place along with the juice of a lime for flavour, oh and 2 TBS of tomato puree.
If you don’t have mild chili powder, then use an additional TBS of the Taco seasoning.
The lime juice added a nice touch. Not overly tart, but lime goes so very well with Tex Mex flavours!
I also changed out the cheeses. She used Mozzarella and cheddar. I chose to use a four cheese blend (because that is what I had) and strong cheddar, with excellent results!
I also added some frozen mixed pepper strips for colour, but also for some fibre. I like to get extra veg into our diet however I can!
I mixed the two cheeses together and stirred 2/3 of the mixture into the cooked pasta and sauce . . . and the rest I scattered over top to melt. I thought it turned out lovely . . . the sauce was rich and creamy . . . and just spicy enough.
This was really lovely. I am thinking it would be lovely another time with ground meat. I also think it would work with leftover pork or chicken as well, changing out the beef stock for chicken stock.
Cheesy Taco Bow Ties
Author: Marie Rayner
A fabulously tasty recipe I adapted from another site to help me use up some leftover cooked beef.
1 pound chopped leftover cooked beef
1 TBS light olive oil
1 large onion, peeled and chopped
2 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
2 TBS Taco Seasoning
1 TBS mild chili powder (optional)
950ml beef broth (4 cups)
the juice of one lime
1 cup frozen pepper strips
1/2 pound uncooked pasta (mafalda, fusilli, penne, rotini or elbow) (I used bow ties)
2 TBS tomato puree (tomato paste)
260g grated four cheese blend (2 cups)
130g grated strong cheddar cheese (1 cup)
chopped parsley to sprinkle on top (optional)
instructions:How to cook Cheesy Taco Pasta
Heat the olive oil in a large skillet. Add the beef and onions. Cook for several minutes until the onion begins to soften. Stir in the garlic and taco seasoning and chili powder if using. Cook for a few minutes longer and then add the chicken stock, lime juice, dry pasta, pepper strips and enchilada sauce.
Bring to the boil and then reduce to a bubbling simmer. Cook for 15 minutes, stirring it occasionally to help prevent the pasta from sticking. At the end of that time the pasta should be tender and most of the liquid should e absorbed.
Mix together both cheeses. Stir 2/3 of it into the pasta. Turn off the heat and sprinkle the remaining cheese over top. Leave to sit while the cheese melts then serve immediately, with parsley sprinkled on top.
I splashed some Green Tabasco sauce over mine as I love the stuff. This was a really delicious one pan meal. Todd enjoyed crusty bread with his. Pasta is not exactly his favourite meal, but he felt this was quite tolerable. (He makes me laugh!)
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