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This Taco Pasta Casserole from former culinary team member Grant Melton—made with spaghetti, ground beef, black beans + more—deliciously combines two of our favorite cuisines.
"This [Taco Pasta Casserole] is my version of a traditional Mexican comfort food dish called "Sopa Seca." You can swap out the ground beef for fresh chorizo, if you are able to find it in your supermarket. If you use chorizo, you can omit the addition of chili powder, paprika and oregano." –Grant, former culinary team member
- 2 tablespoons canola oil, divided
- 1/2 lb. spaghetti noodles
- 1/2 pound ground beef
- 1 onion, chopped
- 1 clove garlic, chopped
- Salt and pepper
- 1 teaspoon cumin
- 1/2 teaspoon chili powder
- 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
- 1/4 teaspoon oregano
- 1 15-ounce can black beans, drained
- 1 15-ounce can tomato sauce
- 2 chipotle peppers in adobo, chopped
- 1/2 cup chicken stock
- 1 cup Mexican blend, Monterey Jack or queso fresco cheese
- Cilantro, for topping
- Sour cream, for topping
- Sliced jalapenos, for topping
Preheat oven to 350°F.
In a large, nonstick skillet, heat 1 tablespoon of oil over high heat. Break the pasta into thirds and add half of the pasta to the pan to toast. Once pasta begins to color, remove it to a large casserole dish and repeat with remaining pasta.
Add the remaining oil to the hot pan. Once the oil is hot, add the beef and cook, breaking the meat up with the back of a spatula until brown. Add the onion and garlic, and cook until fragrant, about 2 minutes. Season the mixture with 1 teaspoon of salt, the cumin, chili powder, paprika and oregano. Add the black beans, tomato sauce, chipotle peppers and chicken stock. Stir to combine then pour the hot mixture over the top of the toasted pasta. Stir the mixture a little to make sure the pasta is completely covered with the hot liquid.
Place the casserole dish into the oven and bake for 15 minutes. Remove the dish from the oven, stir, and return to the oven for 15 minutes more. Remove from the oven again and cover with the cheese. Place the casserole back into the oven and bake, just until the cheese melts, about 5 minutes more.
To serve, dollop with sour cream and top with cilantro and sliced jalapeños.