Recipe Review

Cheesy Taco Pasta Might Be the Perfect Comfort Food

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Sometimes it’s just one of those weeks when everybody is exhausted and there’s no end in sight, and you’re not sure if you’re getting sick or if you just really need a nap. A good night’s sleep will probably go a long way towards remedying that situation, but first you’re going to need to eat something. This is when a person needs comfort food, but the kind of comfort food that’s also flavorful and complex and maybe a little bit spicy. Cheese, of course, is essential. If that sounds like what you wish you had in your lunch box this week, check out this quick skillet recipe for taco pasta. It has all the flavors of a great taco with the cozy comfort of macaroni and cheese.

Mix up some taco seasoning to start. Combine smoked paprika, chile powder, cumin, onion powder, coriander, and dry mustard. Toss those together and set them aside. You could also buy pre-mixed taco seasoning, but doing it yourself gives you more control over the flavor, and the individual spices are basically essential spice-cabinet staples anyway. 

Char some corn on the cob under your broiler. One minute on each side is enough. You just want a nice char on it. Cut the kernels off the cob and save them in a bowl. 

Boil cavatappi pasta until it’s al dente, then drain and set aside. I like to reserve some of the pasta water for later. 

To make the sauce, brown ground beef in a skillet, breaking it up as you go. Add minced shallot and garlic and keep cooking for a couple more minutes. Mix in the taco seasoning and salt and pepper. Then add tomato sauce and reduce the heat and let it simmer for a few minutes to let the flavors blend. (If it starts to get too thick, you can thin it out with water.) 

Fold in the pasta and corn, then cover the contents with shredded cheese and cook it in the oven for a few minutes until the cheese melts. Then top it with diced tomatoes, sliced green onions, and sour cream. It’s like if someone combined a taco bar and a macaroni and cheese bar, and then you made the perfect comfort food. 

Get the recipe: Taco Pasta Skillet from Spoon Fork Bacon

Credit: Lauren Volo

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