Friday, January 18, 2013

Taco Pasta (and Homemade Taco Seasoning)

You know how sometimes you're eating tacos with your friends and you're all like "I wish I could have all the flavors of a taco without the annoying crumbly taco shell that falls apart all over my shirt." And then your bitchy friend Patrice says "make it into taco pasta you idiot." And then you say "back off bitch." And then she says "make me." And then you say "I'll cut you." And then she says "the water could be boiling by now." Yeah, me neither. And yet here it is. Pasta (pause) that tastes like (wait for it) tacos! (It really does.)

Yield: 6-8 servings

12 ounces medium pasta shells or other small dry pasta shape
1 pound ground beef
1 small onion, chopped (about 1 cup)
1 clove garlic, minced
4 tablespoons homemade taco seasoning (see recipe below) or 1 packet store-bought
1 (14 oz.) can diced tomatoes with mild green chilies (or plain diced tomatoes)
3 oz. cream cheese
1/2 cup sour cream
1/4 cup chopped cilantro
salt and freshly ground black pepper

1.      Bring a large pot of water to boil. Cook pasta according to the package directions. Drain, reserving 1/2 cup of pasta water. Set aside.
2.      Meanwhile, in a large skillet or sauté pan, cook the ground meat over medium-high heat until no longer pink. A few minutes before the meat is cooked through, add the chopped onion to the skillet. Once the meat is cooked through, mix in the garlic and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Stir in the taco seasoning and then the diced tomatoes and let simmer over medium heat for about 3-5 minutes. 
3.      Stir in the cream cheese and sour cream until the cream cheese is melted. Stir in the cooked pasta and stir until well blended. Add reserved pasta water if needed to loosen up the sauce. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
4.      Stir in the cilantro right before serving. Serve with a green salad.

slightly reordered/reworded from (who adapted it from, who adapted it from
cooked pasta shells, draining
beef browning with onions
adding garlic
adding homemade taco seasoning
I added plain tomatoes and half
a can of mild green chiles too
adding cream cheese & sour cream
adding pasta shells
adding cilantro
taco pasta mixed in the pot
taco pasta served

I do wish I'd had some cold, crisp salad
to go with it. I think that would have really
increased the taco experience. Next time.
- - - - - - - -

Yield: 6 heaping tablespoons

2 tablespoons chili powder
1 tablespoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon onion powder
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon paprika
2 teaspoons sea salt
2 teaspoons ground black pepper

In a small bowl or spice grinder, mix together chili powder, cumin, garlic powder, onion powder, red pepper flakes, oregano, paprika, salt and pepper. Mix (or grind). Store in an airtight container.

from, submitted by Bill Echols (recipe doubled)
red pepper flakesI decided to grind my spices instead, only so
I could grind the red pepper flakes more finely.
But since the grinder was already out and dirty,
I figured why not grind them all together.
taco seasoning

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