Monday, July 23, 2012

Vegetarian Enchilada Pasta Bake

I am such a visual person. I am a visual learner- I need to see it in order to do it. Forget about putting anything together from reading an instructions manuel... it will never happen. But if I watch a youtube video? I stand a chance (a small...slim...barely there chance). When it comes to food I am also extremely visual. To the point where I see recipes and release audible reactions. John may or may not be embarrassed by my reactions to reading food blogs and prefer I don't do it when other people are over. I will neither confirm nor deny this fact. With that said, when I saw the picture of this recipe I immediately added it to my menu. I didn't even read the ingredients list! I just said "Ohhhh yesssss!" and added it to the list.

When it came time to food shop I saw the sauce was enchilada sauce. Now, I'm new to Mexican cuisine. It's rising in the ranks of my favorites, but I do not love enchilada sauce. I figured I could get over it, that I'd love it because it's soooooo pretty, and to just go with it. Well... guess what? I STILL don't love enchilada sauce! I ate this, I enjoyed it, but being that I am not sold on the key ingredient I can't say this is a favorite. Typically I will only share recipes I love, but I am making an exception for this. There is nothing wrong with the recipe, in fact I'm pretty sure you will love it, so therefore I will bend my own rules. The only reason I didn't love it was because I allowed myself to be swayed by a pretty picture and not by the ingredients. I still think this recipe is excellent for other people. Just not me. So if you're into enchilada sauce go with it- this will be a huge hit!

Source: Sunny Side Up in San Diego

1/2 pound pasta
1 tsp oil
1/2 red onion, chopped
1 medium jalapeno, seeded and chopped
2 bell peppers, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
1-2 tbsp taco seasoning (homemade version here)
1 15oz can black beans, drained and rinsed
2 cups enchilada sauce
1 cup cheese (I used Mexican blend)
2 tbsp cilantro, plus 1 for garnish
10-20 tortilla chips, crushed

1- Preheat over to 350. Prepare pasta according to packaging directions, set aside.
2- In a large skillet heat the oil. Add the onions, jalapeno, peppers, and garlic until tender, 6-7 minutes. Stir in seasonings, black beans, and one cup of the enchilada sauce. Cook 5 minutes.
3- Stir in the pasta, cilantro, and 1/2 cup cheese. Cook until cheese is melted. Transfer the pasta mixture to a 9x13 baking dish.
4- Top with the remaining sauce and cheese. Bake 15 minutes or until sauce and cheese are bubbly. Top with tortilla chips and remaining cilantro.

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