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Tex-Mex Cavatappi

September 1, 2009 Leave a comment Go to comments

“It’s like hamburger helper, only better.”

That’s how my husband described the dinner I made last night.  And he was right.  It’s a lot like cheeseburger macaroni, but with a twist of spiciness thanks to the salsa.  The cookbook said it served 4, but it serves more like 7-8.  Needless to say, we will be eating leftovers for the next couple of days.

Tex-Mex Cavatappi
(Source: Quick From Scratch – Pasta)

2 Tbsp cooking oil (I didn’t use any oil)
1 lb ground beef
1 1/2 tsp chili powder
1 1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp fresh-ground black pepper
2 cups (one 16 oz jar) chunky tomato salsa
3/4 lb cavatappi (I used elbow macaroni)
2 tsp lime juice or red-wine vinegar (I used red-wine vinegar)
1/4 cup chopped cilantro or parsley (I didn’t use either)
6 oz cheddar cheese, grated (about 1 1/2 cups)
Lime wedges for serving (Optional)

1.   In a large frying pan, heat the oil over moderately high heat. Add the ground beef and cook until browned.  Stir in the chili powder, salt, and pepper.  Add the salsa and simmer over low heat to allow the flavors to combine, about 10 minutes.

2. In a large pot of boiling, salted water, cook the pasta until just done.  Drain the pasta and toss it with the sauce, lime juice (or red wine vinegar), cilantro, and I cup of the cheese.  Stir until the cheese is melted.  Sprinkle with the remaining 1/2 cup cheese and serve with wedges of lime if you like.

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