Tonight’s dinner satisfied a craving I’ve had for some kind of creamy pasta that wasn’t necessarily Italian and was instead more southwestern. This recipe, which I made up as I went along, fit the bill. The cheddar I used came from the deli–“slicing cheddar,” it was called–and seemed a little creamier than the cheddar you get in brick form. The texture was a little more like American cheese, which I suspect is why, as it melted, it turned into a smooth and tasty sauce with jolts of solid cheddar throughout. Grated cheddar would probably work just as well.
1 T olive oil
1/2 small onion, chopped
12 oz ground beef (we got the nice all natural stuff at the store)
1 clove garlic, minced
1 14.5 oz can diced tomatoes with green chilis
1/2 c or so tomato juice (I froze the juice from a drained can of whole tomatoes–I used half of it here, so it’s an amount you’ll want to eyeball)
1/4 lb cheddar, grated/chopped/whatever
salt and pepper
8 oz penne, cooked
Start by getting your salted water ready and penne going. My penne only took 5 minutes to cook.
In a deep skillet, add oil over medium heat. Add onions and saute until they start to soften. Add beef, breaking up with wooden spoon, and brown. Add garlic partway through. Add can of tomatoes and tomato juice. Cook until mixture thickens, about five minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Add pasta and cheese, stirring but then letting it set to melt the cheese. Stir again and serve. Yum!