Sometimes I lie awake at night thinking about food and I can feel my heart beating faster. Yes, food excites me, a lot! And that is the time of day my brain functions at its best. I think about all the different food variations and ingredients I could possibly combine.
It's like solving a Math equation where I have to figure out values for:
a + b + ... + z = AMAZING!
So here is one such recipe I cooked up before I fell asleep.
Y'all know Mexican food is my favorite cuisine. So I knew I wanted to make a Mexican Pasta dish, sorta fusion, but what kind of sauce would I add to a Mexican Pasta? Hmmm... and then it hit me, Enchilada Sauce.
And then I added sour cream to make it creamy. It's reduced fat and I only used 1/2 a cup, so chill.
And then I proceeded to add all my favorite Mexican food veggies along with a Mexican Blend cheese. In the oven for 20 minutes and voila, Mexican Pasta is served!
Verdict? This dish turned out spectacular. My friend, Kinjal, stopped by along with her boyfriend and they both agreed it was very good.
My husband was out drinking with his co-workers so he missed out on all the fun we had... haha! :-) When he eventually did come home he ate some of the leftovers and nodded with joy. Yeah, he loved it, too! :-)
And now it's your turn to give this recipe a try! Feedback is always welcome!
NUTRITION: Whole Grain Pasta is a great source of Fiber and Protein. Black Beans are an excellent source of Fiber and Protein. Tomatoes are a good source of Vitamins A and C. Although high in fat, cheese is a good source of Calcium and Protein.
- Pot of water - enough for pasta
- Barilla Whole Grain Medium Shells - 1 pound box
- Canola Oil - 2 tbsp
- Scallions - 2 bunches (chopped)
- Jalapeno - 2 (de-seeded & finely chopped)... use 1 if heat is an issue, but if you de-seed the jalapeno, it's really not bad.
- Garlic - 3 cloves (chopped)
- Onion - 1 medium (chopped)
- Plum Tomatoes - 2 (chopped)
- Old El Paso Mild Enchilada Sauce - 2 10 ounce cans
- Everyday 365 Organic Black Beans - 1 15 ounce can
- Ortega Hot & Spicy Taco Seasoning - 3 dollops (shown below)... or use regular taco seasoning
- Mexican/Taco Blend Cheese - 2 cups (1/2 cup for sauce; 1 1/2 cups later)... you can use REDUCED FAT cheese
- Sour Cream Reduced Fat - 1/2 cup
- Black Pepper - 1/2 tsp
- salt to taste
- Fresh Cilantro - 1 handful (chopped)
1. Start by boiling a pot of water on high heat.
2. In the meantime, chop the scallions, garlic, and jalapenos.
3. Heat a pot on medium heat, once hot, add Canola oil. Add all the chopped veggies and cook for a few minutes.
4. In the meantime, chop an onion.
5. Add the onion to the sauteed veggies.
6. In the meantime, chop the plum tomatoes.
7. Add the tomatoes to the sauteed veggies. Season with salt.
8. Cover with a lid and allow this to cook for 5 minutes.
9. Open up all the cans.
10. Back to the onion-tomato mixture, this is what you should have.
11. Add 2 cans of enchilada sauce.
12. Stir and cover with a lid.
13. Check on the boiling water. Season with salt and a teaspoon of oil to prevent the pasta from sticking.
14. Add the pasta shells and cook until Al Dante, slightly undercooked since the casserole will bake up in the oven. About 6-8 minutes on medium heat.
15. Preheat the oven at 400 degrees.
16. Back to the sauce - this is what you should have. Turn off the heat.
17. Add the black beans.
18. Add 3 dollops of taco seasoning - just like this, 3 spoons.
19. Add 1/2 cup of Mexican/Taco blend cheese.
20. Add 1/2 cup of reduced fat sour cream.
21. YUM! I love cream sauce.
22. Add black pepper and check for salt.
23. Drain the pasta.
24. Add 2 to 3 ladles of the black bean sauce at the bottom.
25. Add the pasta.
26. Pour the remaining sauce over the pasta. Mix well so the pasta is well coated.
27. Add the remaining 1 1/2 cups of cheese.
28. It's gonna be good.
29. Into the oven for 20 minutes.
30. In the meantime, chop a handful of fresh cilantro. You can clean up too. :-)
31. 20 minutes later... yummy, creamy, cheezy, delicious Mexican Pasta! Top with chopped cilantro.
TELL ME: If you are a food blogger, is it just me, or do you lie awake at night dreaming of food and new recipes to invent? Tell me I'm not CRAZY!