Mexican Pasta Bake
I know I’ve mentioned this before, but Mexican food is one of my favorites. Trouble is, I always default to making the same meals. Not that there’s anything wrong with that, but sometimes it doesn’t hurt to spice things up. So I was pretty stoked when I concocted this out of the blue. It took a couple tries to perfect it, but we both really enjoyed the way it turned out. It’s a cross between the best of Mexican flavors & a creamy mac and cheese-um yum! You know you want to make it. It may just be your best decision yet:)
On another note, thank you to everyone who entered our giveaway! I was super excited the entire week & so grateful of everyone who entered!
Mexican Pasta Bake
3 cups uncooked pasta shells
½ tablespoon butter
1 onion, diced finely
2 jalapenos, diced
2 garlic, minced
2 teaspoon chili pepper
1 teaspoon cumin
Pinch of paprika
1 pound ground beef
1 cup salsa (I purchased a hot salsa from our local farmer’s market-so GOOD!)
2 tablespoons butter
1 tablespoon flour
2 cup milk
2 cup cheddar cheese, divided
2 tablespoons cilantro, minced finely
¼ cup green onions, thinly sliced
Grape tomatoes, halved
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
In a medium-large pot of salted boiling water, add the pasta shells and cook until el dente. Drain in a colander & rinse with cold water. Set aside.
In a large saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat. Add the onions and cook until translucent. Add in the jalapenos, garlic, chili pepper, cumin & paprika and stir until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Next, add the ground beef & brown for about 6-10 minutes. Add in the cooked pasta shells.
In the medium-large pot, melt the butter over medium heat. Once melted, add in the flour. Stir in milk & 1 ½ cup of the cheese and whisk until thickened. Add to the pan and stir until coated thoroughly. Top with ½ cup cheese.
Place in the oven & bake for 15 minutes. Top with cilantro, green onions and grape tomatoes, if desired.