I told Husband that we were going to eat healthy every night this week… and then I made this for dinner?! Umm not so healthy…but oh so delicious! I stumbled upon this recipe a few days ago and I haven’t been able to stop thinking about it. So so glad I made it. This pasta dish really turned out great. I mean it had all of our favorite things in it: chili + cheese + pasta = delicious comfort food.
- 1/2 pound elbow macaroni (about 2 cups uncooked pasta)
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 lb lean ground beef
- 2 medium onions, chopped
- 1 green bell pepper, stemmed, seeded and chopped
- 3 teaspoons chopped garlic
- 1 1/2 tablespoons chili powder
- 1 tablespoon ground cumin
- 1/2 tablespoon ground red pepper (for spice!)
- 1 (28 oz) can crushed tomatoes (I didn’t have this, so I just crushed 1 1/2 cups of fresh tomatoes)
- 1 (14.5 oz) can diced tomatoes
- 1 can chili beans
- 1 tablespoon light brown sugar
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 2 1/2 cups shredded cheese
1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
2. Cook 1/2 pound of elbow macaroni; be sure to add 1 tablespoon of salt and 1 tablespoon olive oil to the boiling water. Cook al dente. Once pasta is cooked, save 1/2 cup of the pasta water on the side and drain the remaining water. Transfer pasta to a large bowl and set aside.
3. Using the same large pot, wipe dry and heat over medium heat. Heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil Add ground beef. Once browned and fully cooked, remove from heat and drain any excess fat. Set beef aside.
4. In empty large pot, add 1 tablespoon oil and return to medium heat. Add onions, garlic, green pepper, chili powder, cumin, and red pepper; cook, stirring occasionally, until vegetables are softened and begin to brown.
5. Add crushed tomatoes, diced tomatoes, chili beans, brown sugar, reserved 1/2 cup pasta water and beef to the pot. Bring to a simmer and cook for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally until flavors have blended.
6. Stir in the cooked pasta, 1/2 cup of shredded cheese and season with salt and pepper to taste. Transfer mixture to a 9×13 baking dish and smooth over with a spatula. Cover and bake in the preheated oven for 20-25 minutes or until the mixture is hot and bubbling.
7. Remove from oven and sprinkle the top of the dish with the remaining shredded cheese. Put dish back in oven for 5-10 minutes until the cheese melts and begins to brown. Cool for 10 minutes before serving.
Modified from: Joelens Blog