Thursday, August 26, 2010

Creamy Taco Mac

When my brother and I were growing up, my mom used to make a skillet meal with beef and macaroni.  I was never very fond of it.  Until I got married and began running out of easy, cheap dinner options.  And then I gave my mom's beef-mac-skillet another try and found it was pretty good.  It makes a ton and is super easy.  Pretty much everyone has a their own version of beef-mac-skillet but the following recipe is a different take on the skillet meal.  It's easy, cheap (my two favorite things in a recipe) and very tasty! 

Creamy Taco Mac
Adapted from:
1 lbs. ground beef
8 oz. dry pasta shapes
1 small onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
1 (14 oz.) can diced tomatoes, drained
4 tbsp. taco seasoning
3 oz. cream cheese
½ cup sour cream
Salt and pepper
Shredded cheddar cheese (optional)

Bring a large pot of water to boil. Cook pasta according to the package directions. Drain, reserving ½ cup of pasta water. Set aside.
Meanwhile, in a large skillet cook the ground beef over medium-high heat until no longer pink. A few minutes before the beef is cooked through, add the chopped onion to the skillet. Once the meat is cooked through, mix in the garlic and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Mix in the diced tomatoes and taco seasoning and let simmer over medium heat for about 5 minutes. Stir in the cooked pasta, cream cheese, sour cream and reserved pasta water, and continue stirring until the cream cheese is melted and the sauce is well blended. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Simmer over medium-low heat 3-5 minutes to reduce the sauce a bit. Remove from the heat and top with shredded cheddar cheese, if desired.

Amy's Notes:
Be careful to use either a large enough skillet or a large enough pot for the noodles.  My skillet wasn't big enough (mine was 8in) so I dumped the meat mixture into the pot I used for the noodles, which worked but I made a bit of a mess in the process.  The original recipe calls for ground turkey but I only had ground beef in my freezer.  Either would work.  I used petite diced tomatoes, only because I don't like big chunks of cooked tomatoes (weird, I know).  Also, I didn't use a whole onion because I had a half of one already cut, but added a little dried onion.  My husband and I both like this dish and I will definately make it again.
The meat combo before the noodles were added
Mix it all together good.
With a little cheese added on top!

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