The other night I had thawed out and starting cooking some ground beef to make tacos. I didn’t check to make sure we had everything we needed for tacos because, well, we always have what we need for tacos. Always. Except that night. I opened the fridge to grab the tortillas and…um…hello?? Where are my tortillas? I could have sworn that we had some, but no. No tortillas. Dug through the cabinets and found no hard taco shells either. I was really in the mood for something of the mexican persuasion, so I was really bummed and agrivated. And I had already started cooking the ground beef, so I had to do something with it. And at that time, my friends, Taco Pasta was born. I just made it up on the fly, and it turned out really good. My husband says it was too much like “Hamburger Helper” for him, but he’s just weird, so I told him to bite me. The kids and I thought it was great.
So, to make this quick and easy Taco Pasta, you simple brown a pound of ground beef in a pan, throw in a can of black beans (rinsed and drained well), some tex-mex seasoning (I make my own – recipe below – but you can also use packaged taco seasoning), a little lime juice and some salsa – I just added until it looked moist enough. If you didn’t have salsa, you could just add some choped onions, peppers, garlic and cook it along with the ground beef, then add some canned tomatoes. That would work perfectly fine too, I’m sure.
Then, just boil some pasta until it’s al-dente (which means: until it’s done but still has a little bit of a ‘bite’ to it…it shouldn’t be total mush…mushy pasta…eww.)
Add the pasta to the meat mixture…
Then add a couple handfuls of shredded cheese…
Just cook through until the cheese melts and spoon it into serving bowls and top with a little more shredded cheese and some diced tomato. (If we’d had an avocado, I’d have diced that up and put on top too. But alas…no avocados in the house either)…
Like I said, the kids and I really like this and I thought it was a great quick-fix meal. I may even try it using spanish rice instead of the pasta sometime…and maybe that would appease my Hamburger Helper-fearing husband. He’s weird. Did I mention that already? And you could also do this with chicken instead of beef.
And here’s how I make my own Tex-Mex Seasoning. You can adjust these spices to your tastes…
Combine the following in an airtight container:
2-1/2 tbsp chili powder
1-1/2 tbsp paprika
2 tbsp cumin
2 tsp oregano
1 tbsp garlic powder
1-1/2 tbsp onion powder
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper (omit or use less if you like it mild, use more if you like it hot)
1 tsp salt
For one pound of ground beef, I use about 2 tablespoons or so of this seasoning.
If you have certain recipes or types of things you’d like to see here on my blog, please let me know…I’m always willing to experiment!