Friday, September 6, 2013

Queso Pasta Taco Bake {Foodie Friday}

Look what I did! Just because I love you and apparantly I have a lot of free time, I created a recipe index of all the recipes that have been featured on this blog! You can access it by clicking the 'Recipe Index' tab at the top of the page.
Now back to the food.

I'm not a big casserole person, just because they are a lot of work. They do have their place though, and I love them for meals for new mothers and for leftovers. Oh, I love leftovers. LOVE. And this, my friends, is perfect for leftovers.

This bake does make a lot of dirty dishes, and I'm pretty sure I could just eat the cheese sauce with a spoon, but resist the urge, because the end result will make you wonder why you never thought of mixing mac and cheese with tacos before.

One Year Ago: Pasta Carbonara

Queso Taco Pasta Bake

4 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/4 cup all purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 1/2 cups reduced sodium chicken broth
1 1/2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
1/2 cup prepared mild salsa
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 cup finely chopped onions
1 tablespoons minced garlic
1 pound lean ground beef
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
One 10 ounce can Rotel tomatoes, mild
1 tablespoon ground cumin
1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
3/4 pound small pasta of your choice
2 cups shredded cheddar cheese

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. and lightly spray a 9×13 inch baking dish with cooking spray.
2. Make a roux: Place butter into a medium saucepan over medium heat. Stir to melt. Whisk in flour, salt and pepper for about 30 seconds until bubbly. Slowly whisk in chicken broth until smooth. Increase heat to high while whisking until thickened. Takes 3-5 minutes. Stir in cheese and salsa, turn off heat and set aside.
3. Place 2 tablespoons olive oil in medium skillet over medium heat. Saute onions until softened, about 5 minutes. Add garlic and cook for an additional minute. Add ground beef, salt and pepper, cooking until browned. Drain fat if necessary. Add tomatoes, cumin and lime juice, stir to combine.
4. Cook pasta according to package directions, drain and run under cold water.
5. Transfer beef, noodles and queso to a large pot or dutch oven over medium low heat. Taste and season with additional salt and pepper to your liking. Transfer to prepared baking dish and top with shredded cheese. Bake for 25-30 minutes until cheese is melted. Serve warm.

Makes 8 servings

Source:Picky Palate

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