Taco Pasta Toss

March 2010
Taco Pasta Toss

by 60 people

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Dig into this warming dish to chase away the last of the season's chill.

Makes: 4 servings

Ingredients
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1 pound penne rigate or whole grain penne rigate pasta
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil (EVOO)
  • 1 pound ground beef sirloin
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 1 large jalapeno chile--halved, seeded if desired and thinly sliced crosswise
  • 4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons chili powder (about 2 palmfuls)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin (about 1/2 palmful)
  • 1 tablespoon ground coriander (about a palmful)
  • 1/4 cup tomato paste
  • 1 12 ounce bottle  beer or 1 1/2 cups chicken stock
  • 2 cups shredded cheddar, monterey jack or any Mexican semisoft cheese
  • 2 small plum tomatoes, seeded and chopped
  • 1/4 head iceberg letuce or 1/2 small heart romaine lettuce, chopped
Directions
  1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil, salt it, add the pasta and cook until al dente. Drain and return to the pot.
  2. While the pasta is working, in a large skillet, heat the EVOO, 1 turn of the pan, over medium-high heat. Add the beef and cook until browned, about 5 minutes. Add three-quarters of the onion, the jalapeno, garlic, chili powder, coriander and cumin; season with salt and pepper. Cook until the onion is softened, 6 to 7 minutes. Stir in the tomato paste for 1 minute, then stir in the beer.
  3. Add the sauce to the pasta and toss. Spoon into a serving dish, top with the cheese and tent with foil to melt the cheese, about 1 minute. Top with the remaining onion, the tomatoes and lettuce- just like tacos!
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