Taco Pasta Toss

by Rachael Ray Show Staff 8:00 AM, March 24, 2010

Aired March 24, 2010

Serves Serves 4
Salt and pepper
1 pound penne rigate or whole grain penne rigate pasta
1 tablespoon EVOO Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1 pound ground beef sirloin
1 large onion, chopped, divided
1 large jalapeo halved, seeded and thinly sliced crosswise
4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
2 tablespoons chili powder, about 2 palmfuls
1 tablespoon ground coriander, about a palmful
1 1/2 tablespoons ground cumin, about 1/2 palmful
1/4 cup tomato paste
1 12-ounce bottle beer or 1 1/2 cups chicken stock
2 cups shredded cheddar, Monterey Jack or any Mexican semisoft cheese
2 small plum tomatoes, seeded and chopped
1/4 head iceberg lettuce or 1/2 small heart romaine lettuce, chopped

Bring a large pot of water to a boil, salt it, add the pasta and cook until al dente. Drain and return to the pot.

While the pasta is working, in a large skillet, heat the EVOO, 1 turn of the pan, over medium-high heat. Add the beef and cook until browned, about 5 minutes. Add three-quarters of the onion, the jalapeo, garlic, chili powder, coriander and cumin; season with salt and pepper. Cook until the onion is softened, 6-7 minutes. Stir in the tomato paste, cook for 1 minute then stir in the beer.

Add the sauce to the pasta and toss. Spoon into a serving dish, top with the cheese and tent with foil to melt the cheese, about 1 minute. Top with the remaining onion, the tomatoes and lettuce just like tacos!