While this Chili Pasta Skillet is an easy one-dish meal and hearty comfort food, it’s also packed with vegetables for a good dose of healthy.
Let’s talk about impulse buying. More specifically, let’s talk about it in relation to the grocery store.
Parents all know that some of the hardest moments are those experienced while standing in a check-out line with a little one. For children, the mundane trial of food shopping is magically turned into a trip to Willy Wonka’s world.
Chocolate, candy, gum, small packets of donuts and cookies surround them; begging them to be bought and devoured. Parents are left with the chore of blocking little fingers from grabbing while fielding pleas for purchase.
You know what I’m talking about, don’t you.
My grocery store has all that, but they’ve added an adult-sized enticement as well. It’s the magazine rack, strategically placed right by the doors. When I walk in, I see them. When I leave, I peruse them. Nine times out of ten, my will is stronger than my urge to buy.
Yesterday, that wasn’t the case. After seeing this Ground Beef Cooking 2015 issue for about a week now, I finally succumbed.
Thirty minutes from start to finish. That’s the promise, and it delivers.
The other fantastic part; it’s a two-pot meal. One’s used for cooking the pasta; the other for everything else.
In fact, the cooking process is timed really well. While my pasta water heated, I chopped my onion and garlic. As the pasta boiled, I was able to add the aromatics and beef to the skillet to cook.
(For those who don’t want to cook up the entire box of rigatoni, the 3 cups needed for the recipe is about half the box.)
While they sautéed, I cut up the zucchini and tomato so they were ready to add when the time came. The pasta was ready right about the same time as the beef sauce was done, so I folded it in, then added the cheese. Easy.
First, I know what you’re thinking; zucchini. And Sophie. Together. She ate it, right up until the moment when she realized that it wasn’t cucumber. She did like the meal, but she said it was kind of bland. And I agreed. It needed a flavor boost from salt.
I can understand why the recipe creator didn’t add any; the store bought salsa and cheese packed a fair punch of sodium on their own, but it did need a teaspoon or so added.
Other than that, supper was delicious. The three of us really enjoyed it and I was thrilled with how little clean-up there was after eating.
What I’d Do Different Next Time
I’d add a teaspoon of salt after browning the meat.
- 3 cups rigatoni pasta
- 1 pound extra-lean ground beef
- 1 small onion, chopped
- 4 cloves garlic, chopped
- 1 large zucchini, coarsely chopped
- 1 cup fresh corn kernels
- 1 tablespoon chili powder
- 1 large tomato, coarsely chopped
- ½ cup Taco Bell thick & chunky salsa
- 2/4 cup Kraft shredded triple cheddar cheese with a touch of Philadelphia, divided
- Cook pasta as directed on the package, omitting the salt. Drain.
- While the pasta simmers, brown the beef with the onion and garlic in a large skillet.
- Add the zucchini, corn and chili powder and cook 7 minutes, or until the vegetables are tender, stirring occasionally.
- Add in the tomato and salsa and cook an additional three minutes or until heated through, stirring occasionally.
- Carefully fold the pasta into the meat mixture. Stir in ½ cup of the cheese.
- Served topped with the remaining cheese sprinkled on top.
I didn’t bother to add tabs to any of the pages in this magazine because I want to make just about everything in it. I hope you like ground beef, because you might be seeing a bunch of it over the course of the next couple of months.