Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Mexican Pasta Bake

Last night I was really in the mood for Mexican food. I wanted some lovely crunchy tacos filled with beef, salsa, cheese etc.

I dreamed about it while sitting at my desk at work, anxious to go directly to the grocery store to get all my goods.
I headed straight for the Mexican food section only to discover that taco shells were only being sold with a taco kit. Meaning it came with all the seasoning and salsa etc packed together. This bothered me because of course I wanted to create my own seasoning.
I guess making Mexican food at home is not so common here as it is in North America (not so surprising though is it?). I'm sure I can find some taco shells sold separately somewhere. I could have gone for the soft taco but i passed on that and decided to create my very first Mexican Pasta Bake.
Outcome? EXCELLENT!

Here's what I used :

300g pasta shells
250g lean ground beef
1 medium onion - chopped
1 tbsp olive oil
1 large beef tomatoes - chopped
1/2 cup jalapenos - chopped
1/2 cup salsa (mild, medium or hot. It's up to your personal taste but note there are already jalapenos in this recipe)
3 tsp ground cumin
2 tsp paprika
1 tsp celery salt
2 cups cheddar cheese

Instructions:
- Set oven to gas mark 5 (375 F)
- Cook pasta in salted water as per package instructions
- In the mean time cook onions in a large pan until beginning to soften, then add ground beef. Cook through (about 5 minutes) then add cumin, paprika, celery salt, jalapeno and salsa. Cook on low-medium heat for a couple more minutes. Turn off the heat then add pasta to the beef mixture and stir until all is combined
- In a oven proof casserole dish put half the pasta and beef mixture then layer half the chopped tomatoes, then half the cheddar. Repeat layers.
- Place casserole lid on top (or foil) and bake in oven for 15 minutes.
- Now put casserole under the grill for a minute or so just until the top starts to golden (but do not allow top cheese layer to dry out too much)


I served with some fresh chopped tomatoes and avocado on the side, sprinkled with some chili oil, salt and pepper



I'd like to include this as my entry for this weeks Presto Pasta Nights, hosted this week by Joanne of Eats Well With Others. Thanks Joanne!

6 comments:

Joanne said...

This looks insanely delicious! I love Mexican flavors and so to see them infused in a pasta dish is right up my alley. Thanks for the submission!

Diana said...

Ariba!! Looks delicious. It's much better that you created your own than using those ready made Mexi kits! Olé Sarita!

Aggie said...

This looks fantastic!!

eatme_delicious said...

Ooo wow what an awesome idea! I love baked pasta and have never thought to make it Mexican style.

Kevin said...

That Mexican pasta meal looks so tasty and good! I really like using Mexican flavours in new way like in pasta dishes like this.

Ruth Daniels said...

I couldn't agree more...great looking dish. Thanks so much for sharing with Presto Pasta Nights.