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.
- 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
- Preheat oven to 350.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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!