Did you know that October is National Pasta Month?

It’s like someone gave me free reign to load up on carbohydrates, because who am I to renounce celebrating a national holiday?

Back when I was single (and to be honest, when I was first married), one of my favorite “dishes” to make were what I called my “quick and easy weeknight burritos.”  Basically, it was taco meat, beans and cheese wrapped up in a tortilla shell.  That was about the extent of my cooking skills; plus, it was a relatively low-cost meal that I could stretch out over quite a few days.

I have to tell you though, it’s still one of my favorite dinner combinations, primarily because it requires very little effort and comes together in a flash–especially on those nights when I don’t really feel like cooking, but my family feels like eating.

But, since it’s National Pasta Month and all, I decided to stuff the filling in jumbo pasta shells.

It was a very good idea, if I do say so myself.  🙂

Nacho Stuffed Shells
 
Ingredients
  • 1 package jumbo shell pasta
  • 1 pound lean ground beef
  • 2 tablespoons homemade taco seasoning or 1 package purchased taco seasoning
  • 1 16-ounce can refried beans (I used fat-free)
  • 1 4-ounce can diced green chilies, optional
  • 1½ cups cheddar cheese, divided
  • 1 cup salsa
  • 1 8-ounce can tomato sauce
  • 2-ounce can sliced black olives, drained
  • ½ cup sliced green onions
  • ½ cup cilantro
Method
  1. Preheat oven to 350.
  2. Cook pasta according to package directions. Meanwhile, brown beef in a large skillet. Drain, then add taco seasoning and 1 cup water. Allow to simmer until thickened, about 5 minutes. Stir in beans, chilies, and 1 cup cheese and warm through. When your pasta is done, drain well. Fill shells with beef mixture; about 2 tablespoons per shell.
  3. Combine salsa and tomato sauce in a small saucepan and cook until heated. Spread ½ cup of sauce over the bottom of a 9x13 pan. Place stuffed shells on top of sauce, and top with remaining sauce. Sprinkle olives over the top. Cover with aluminum foil and back 35 minutes.
  4. Remove pan from oven and sprinkle with remaining ½ cup cheese. Bake, uncovered, for 5 minutes, or until cheese is melted. Sprinkle with green onions and cilantro.

Have a fabulous Monday! And if you haven’t yet, be sure to enter my pasta giveaway from the National Pasta Association. Today is the last day!