Monday, February 06, 2006
Pasta with a twist
Food and Wine Magazine’s Quick From Scratch Pasta Cookbook Copyright 1996,2001,2002,2004
2 tablespoons cooking oil
1 pound ground beef I used ground turkey
1 ½ teaspoons chili powder
1 ½ teaspoons salt
¼ teaspoon fresh-ground black pepper
2 cups (one 16-ounce jar) chunky tomato salsa I used chipotle salsa
¾ pound cavatappi
2 teaspoons lime juice or red-wine vinegar I used red-wine vinegar
¼ cup chopped cilantro or parsley I used parsley
6 ounces cheddar cheese, grated (about 1 ½ cups) I used a cheddar-jack blend
Lime wedges for serving (optional)
1. In a large frying pan, heat the oil over moderately high heat. Add the ground beef (or turkey) and cook until well browned, about 3 minutes. Stir in the chili powder, salt and pepper. Add the salsa and simmer over low heat to allow the flavors to combine, about 10 minutes.
2. In a large pot of boiling, salted water cook the cavatappi until just done, about 13 minutes. Drain the pasta and toss it with the sauce, lime juice, cilantro and 1 cup of the cheese. Stir until the cheese is melted. Sprinkle with the remaining ½ cup cheese and serve with wedges of lime if you like.
A while back I bought an expensive jar of chipotle salsa from the wife of a coworker. I think the brand is Wildtree Herbs - it's one of those party sales thingies but there was no party, just a book. A book of expensive products.
So, of course, if you pay $8.00 for salsa (16 oz, not the big jug like Costco's peach manga salsa - yum), you aren't going to run home and eat it with store-brand tortilla chips, right? So this was just sitting on the shelf, waiting for it's moment. I saw this recipe several times before my brain clicked in and I remembered this salsa. This was such a perfect use for this salsa. I'm not sure how good this recipe would be with an 'everyday' jarred salsa - get something sassy! The only ripple was that this dish had extra tang since I added the red-wine vinegar but since lime juice was the second ingredient in this salsa, I probably didn't need to add that ingredient.
This was super, super, super (yes, three 'supers'!) simple. Not even and onion or clove of garlic to chop, just a bit of parsley, which really isn't essential (there's probably cilantro in most salsas). The cavatappi is such a beautiful and fun pasta shape but I took the last bag off the shelf and I'm frightened I won't be able to find it anymore. I have the worst time finding the pasta shapes I want (you can't even get small shells locally!)
As you can see, I'm just addicted to these Food and Wine Magazine's Quick From Scratch Cookbooks. I just can't say enough good things about these books. I'm definitely grabbing them if the house burns down.
They say salsa is the most popular condiment.
Question of the Day: How much salsa do you consume?