Friday, January 15, 2010

Mexi Stuffed Pasta Shells

I think I should have photographed this on a green or blue plate. Perhaps that would have offset some of the crazy yellow-orangey color palate. Oh well, I was hungry and hindsight (especially in hunger!) is 20/20. When we make this for supper on a weeknight, we always make it ahead of time as this Mexi Pasta Shells can be a little time consuming. Especially when you're starving :) I will warn you, it is good to cover as much of the pasta shell as possible with taco sauce otherwise you have a chance of them getting a little crunchy. Gross. For this same reason, it's hard to reheat this meal effectively for leftovers. But first time around, these are yummy and worth a try. This recipe is courtesy of Betty Crocker.

12 - 15 uncooked jumbo pasta shells
2 teaspoons vegetable oil
1 medium onion, chopped (1/2 cup)
1 lb ground beef
1 1/2 teaspoons chili powder
1 package (3 oz) cream cheese, softened
1 1/2 c taco sauce
1 cup shredded Colby-Monterey Jack cheese blend (4 oz)
1/2 cup crushed corn chips
1/2 cup sour cream
4 medium green onions, sliced (1/4 cup)

1. Heat oven to 350°F. Spray 8-inch square pan with cooking spray. Cook and drain pasta shells as directed on package.
2. Meanwhile, in 2-quart nonstick saucepan, brown ground beef on medium heat. Add onion; cook about 5 minutes, stirring frequently, until crisp-tender. Stir in chili powder, cream cheese and 1/2 cup of the taco sauce. Reduce heat to medium-low; cook 2 to 3 minutes, stirring occasionally, until cheese is melted.
3. Fill cooked shells with meat mixture. Place shells, filled sides up, in pan. Pour remaining taco sauce over shells.
4. Cover and bake 20 minutes. Sprinkle with shredded cheese and corn chips. Bake uncovered about 10 minutes longer or until cheese is melted. Garnish with sour cream and onions

Cover and refrigerate pan of unbaked stuffed pasta shells up to 24 hours. Increase first bake time to 25 minutes.

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