Thursday, August 2, 2012

A Guilty Pleasure

Good evening everyone!  Here on Out of the Culinary, we tend to focus on the healthy, yet delicious, aspects of cooking and for the majority of the time, we stick to those recipes.  However, there are those recipes that speak to you that aren't really the best for you and I usually try out those recipes.  Tonight, I have a tasty dish that will make your mouth water and hopefully, you won't feel too guilty about gobbling up a few bites of this.

The Recipe:  Cheesy Taco Pasta Bake
Inspired by Various Sources

What You'll Need:

8 Ounces uncooked Rigatoni
1 Pound Ground Beef
1 package Taco Seasoning
1 Cup Water
4 Ounces Fat-Free Cream Cheese
1 1/2 Cup shredded Colby Jack Cheese (shredded Mexican cheese would be an acceptable substitute as well)

To start, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil.  Once the water has started to boil, slowly pour the uncooked rigatoni into the pot and cook the pasta until package directions indicate al dente.  Once cooked, drain the pasta, shaking to remove the excess water.  Pour the pasta into a large baking dish and cover with aluminum foil.

Once the pasta is cooked, preheat an oven to 350 degrees.  While the oven is preheating, heat a large nonstick skillet to medium high heat.  Once the skillet is heated, brown the ground beef.  If you use a higher percentage of fat in the ground beef, you will need to drain the excess fat.  In a small bowl, mix the taco seasoning and water together.  Add the browned beef back to the skillet after draining the fat and add the taco seasoning water over the beef.  Let this mixture simmer for about five minutes, or until the liquid has reduced.  Add the cream cheese and stir until the cream cheese is melted and combined.  Remove the skillet off the heat.

In the baking dish with the pasta, stir in one cup of the shredded cheese.  Next, add the ground beef mixture and stir the beef and pasta together until everything is throughly mixed and the pasta is coated.  Top the beef and pasta with the remaining half cup of shredded cheese.  Put the baking dish in the oven and bake for 30 minutes.  Serve and enjoy!

The End Result:

As I mentioned before, this recipe might not be the healthiest, but it is definitely cheesy goodness.  The cream cheese with the taco seasoned beef added an extra flavor boost that you don't usually get with taco beef.  Mixing the cheese with the pasta also helps with the savory flavor.  There are multiple ways of add more flavor to this dish.  You could add crushed taco chips, diced tomatoes, (if you like a little heat) diced jalepenos - there are multiple ways to add even more delicious flavor to this original dish!

That's all we have for you this evening.  This will be the last recipe for the next two weeks, as we are off during this time.  We could never thank our loyal readers enough for joining us every week as we share our cooking experiences with you.  We will keep you updated via Facebook or Twitter when we will be sharing another recipe with you.  Until then,


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