When I was flipping through a recent magazine for the second time, I was a little surprised to see that I flagged something called 'Stovetop Chili Mac.' It's not something that I would typically make, based on title alone. After a quick glance, I could definitely see the potential in this dish - increase the veggies, give it some kick,...and we find ourselves with the delicious Spicy Beef and Zucchini Pasta.
The beef and zucchini sauce was a spicy and flavorful topping on top of pasta, which is a nice change from your every day bolognese. The preparation of this sauce reminds me of my go-to taco recipe though. This recipe makes plenty, so enjoy pasta for dinner and then tacos for lunch the next day. That's what we did!
Spicy Beef and Zucchini Pasta
Yields 4 servings
3/4 pound (12 oz) short pasta, such as rotini or rigatoni
1 teaspoon extra-virgin olive oil
5 garlic cloves, minced or grated
1 medium yellow onion, chopped
2 green and/or red bell peppers, chopped
1 pound extra lean ground beef
2 teaspoons chili powder
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 medium zucchini, diced
2 cans (14.5 ounces each) diced tomatoes with chiles, including juices
2 ounces shredded cheddar cheese, for topping
- In a large pot of boiling water, cook pasta according to package instructions. Drain and return to pot.
- Meanwhile, in a large skillet, heat oil over medium. Add onion, peppers and garlic and cook until onion is translucent and peppers are soft (about 5 minutes).
- Increase heat to medium high, add beef and break it up with a wooden spoon. Cook until no longer pink. Add chili powder and cumin, and cook until fragrant (about 1 minute). Season with salt and pepper.
- Add zucchini and cook until tender. Add tomatoes, bring to a simmer and cook until mixture is thickened and heated through.
- Divide pasta among 4 bowls, top with meat sauce, and sprinkle with cheese.
Adapted from Everyday Food