Saturday, February 14, 2009

Southwestern Pasta & Cheese

With a little help from our old stand-by, Healthy Cooking, we found yet another recipe that piqued our interest.

As always, it met a few of our preferences: Few ingredients or most ingredients found at home; and quick preparation time.
Southwestern Pasta & Cheese
3 1/3 cups uncooked bow tie pasta
1 medium chopped red pepper
8 chopped green onions
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon chili powder
1 teaspoon minced chipotle pepper in adobo sauce
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
2 1/4 cups fat-free milk
1 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese, divided
4 center-cut bacon strips, cooked and crumbled
2 tablespoons minced fresh cilantro
To begin, cook the pasta. Then cook the bacon strips and let rest.

While the pasta is cooking, saute green onions and red pepper in oil in a skillet over medium heat. Then add the flour, chili powder, chipotle pepper, salt and cumin until blended.

Gradually stir in milk. Brink to a boil and stir for 2 minutes. Stir in 1/4 cup cheese until melted.

Drain pasta; toss into sauce mixture. Add bacon and cilantro. Transfer to a baking dish and add remaining cheese.

Cook, uncovered, for 2o to 25 minutes.

The meal was a bit too spicy, perhaps because we accidentally spilled some of the chili powder. Perhaps it was because of the chipotle pepper. In addition, I thought it would have been beneficially to add a couple of more bacon strips for the added variation in texture.

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