Sometimes an innocent comment is all it takes for an idea to be born. That’s just what happened with this idea for Southwest Baked Spaghetti…the flavors of Tex-Mex in a tomato sauce, tossed with angel hair pasta and cheese and baked…
I was sitting in physical therapy having my elbow treated with ice and a medicated therapy that involves electroshock (I know, right?) and flipping through a food magazine. My therapist, Tammy, walked by as I was looking at a photograph of some baked spaghetti.
She commented that it looked like a Mexican dish…it wasn’t of course, but that set me to thinking. I immediately said, “What a great idea! I’ll make a Southwest Baked Spaghetti! Thank you!!!”
And so, I pulled out my note pad and pen and jotted down some ideas before I forgot them.
Yes…I do have to use lists…just wait until your memory goes too! On the way home from work, I picked up the few ingredients I didn’t have on hand; this is what I came up with for a Southwest version of baked spaghetti. Boy, oh boy, was it yummy! Mr. Saucy even commented, “You can tell them Mr. Saucy loved it!”
It’s super simple and I threw it together in about 30 minutes. It made a ton, so we will have leftovers for lunches. Hope you’ll give it a try.
- 1 pound ground beef
- 1 medium onion, diced
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1-28 ounce can crushed tomatoes
- 2-4 ounce cans diced green chilies
- 1 teaspoon ancho chili powder (you can use regular chili powder)
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- ½ teaspoon ground coriander
- ½ teaspoon ground Mexican oregano (you can use regular)
- 1 teaspoon dry cilantro leaves
- salt and pepper to taste
- 4 ounces cheddar cheese, grated
- 4 ounces soft white cheese, grated (I used Farmer’s cheese, you could use Monterey Jack or Mozzarella)
- 8 ounces angel hair pasta, cooked according to package instructions
- Put a large sauce pan of salted water on the stove to boil.
- In a very large skillet, over medium heat, add the ground beef, the onion and the garlic (I didn’t add any fat to the pan, just relied on what was in the beef).
- Breaking up the beef, continue to cook until the beef is browned. (I used a very lean beef, so I didn’t need to drain off any fat, but if you do, just dump the contents of the skillet into a colander, drain and return to the skillet.)
- To the skillet, add the tomatoes, green chilies, chili powder, cumin, coriander, oregano, cilantro and salt and pepper to taste.
- Stir and continue to cook for about 15 minutes to reduce.
- Grate the two cheeses and mix them together in a small bowl.
- Once the water in the sauce pan has come to a boil, add the angel hair pasta and cook according to the package instructions for al dente.
- Drain the pasta in a colander, making sure all the water is drained off.
- Add the pasta into the contents of the skillet.
- Using tongs, mix the pasta in well with the sauce.
- Spray a 9 x 13 inch casserole with Pam.
- Place half of the pasta/sauce mixture into the greased casserole.
- Top with half the cheese.
- Place the remaining half of the pasta/sauce mixture on top and add the remaining cheese.
- Make a foil “tent” to cover the casserole.
- Bake in a preheated 350 degree F oven for 20 minutes.
- Remove the foil and continue to bake for another 10 minutes, or until the cheese on top is golden brown.
- Remove from oven and serve.