My husband loves mac & cheese and I love Mexican food. Here is a random dish that I came up with that actually turned out as a crowd pleaser! I love to add lots of spice to mine but you can easily tone the heat down by not adding red pepper flakes & using a mild taco seasoning.
2 Cups Small Pasta Shells
1 Pound Ground Beef
2 Cups Beef Stock
3/4 Cup Heavy Cream
1 Can Diced or Chopped Tomatoes
2 Cups Shredded Extra Sharp Cheddar Cheese
1 Small Yellow Onion, diced
1-2 Cloves Garlic, minced
1 Tbsp Olive Oil
2 Tbsp All Purpose Flour
1/2 Package Spicy Taco Seasoning
2 Tsp Mexican Chili Powder
2 Tsp Red Pepper Flakes
Salt & Pepper to taste
1. In large pot, cook pasta according to package.
2. In large skillet, heat olive oil. Saute onion & garlic for 1-2 minutes, then add ground beef.
3. As you are browning the beef, add in taco seasoning, Mexican chili powder, and red pepper flakes (this helps season the meat and cook down the spices). Drain excess fat from beef mixture and set aside.
4. In same skillet, whisk in flour until lightly browned.
5. Whisk in beef broth & diced tomatoes and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and bring to a simmer, stirring occasionally until thickened.
5. Mix in pasta, beef mixture, and heavy cream until heated through. Then mix in cheese.
6. Add salt & pepper to taste and enjoy!
**To save time, I have made this dish super dumbed down as well. While it’s not AS good, it’s still pretty amazing. Follow steps 1 & 2. Once you’ve browned the beef & spices, add in the canned tomatoes (do not drain); let simmer. Add the pasta to your skillet. Add 1/2 stick of butter and cheese to your skillet and mix together. Again, this is the easy version and while it’s good, it can turn out a bit dry. If you have the time, stick with the original recipe. 🙂