Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Chili Mafalda (really, just Chili Pasta)

On Sunday, I had to take a break from grouting to feed myself, Brandon who was installing a new utility sink, Grandpa and Brandon’s stepdad who were changing the brakes on their various vehicles, and whoever else was stopping in and out of the house. The nearest pizza place didn’t open till 4, and the hamburger joint that delivers was short on drivers. So I had to open my freezer and see what I could find.


So I whipped up this Chili Pasta, based on a recipe I got from my cousin, Kirsten. This recipe is so easy and almost not worth posting about, but it works, is tasty, and might come in handy as an easy recipe for you sometime!

I did a variation on Sunday, so I’ll tell you what I did Sunday, what I usually do, and then post the original recipe.

“What I Normally Do”’s Ingredients:

  • 1 lb of ground beef or turkey (this Sunday, I used 2lbs because there were lots of guys…and it’s just what I happened to have in the freezer)
  • 1 chopped onion (I left it out this Sunday because Brandon’s stepdad doesn’t like onions)
  • 3 cups of mafalda noodles uncooked (really, I usually just end up using about a pound of whatever noodles I have on hand; bowties work really well)
  • 2 tsp chili powder (or more to taste) (and I doubled it on Sunday)
  • 1 tsp garlic salt (or more to taste) (and I doubled it on Sunday)
  • 1/4 c. ketchup (I used about 1/2 cup on Sunday)
  • 3 cups water
  • shredded cheese to top (I use Cheddar or Colby Jack, or really just whatever I have)

This is meant to be done as a one pot meal.  You brown the meat (with the onion if you’re using it), then add the water and pasta with the seasonings, and let the pasta cook in that liquid.  This Sunday, since I had 2 pounds of meat and hungry people waiting, I started water boiling for the pasta, then began browning the meat in a separate pan. I cooked the pasta for about half the time listed on the package, drained it, and put it back in the pot. When the meat was browned, I used a slotted spoon to drain it as I scooped it into the pot with the pasta. 

Once you’ve got the pasta and meat together, add the water, seasonings, & ketchup; stir, and let cook down so the pasta absorbs the liquid. Easy, right?


Serve topped with cheese (this is the most important part!) for a delicious and filling meal that’s also great reheated the next day.



Here’s the original recipe that I got from my cousin Kirsten, that I will try fully one day:

Chili Mafalda


  • 1 lb lean ground beef
  • 3/4 cup chopped onion
  • 3 cups water
  • 1 jar (16 oz) med or mild thick n’ chunky salsa
  • 1/4 cup ketchup
  • 1 can (15 oz) black or kidney beans, drained
  • 1-2 teaspoons chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon garlic salt
  • 3 cups Mafalda uncooked
  • 1 cup shredded Cheddar cheese

In a large saucepan over medium heat, cook meat and onion until meat browns and onion is tender; drain. Stir in water, salsa, ketchup, beans, and seasonings; heat to boiling. Stir in uncooked pasta; reduce heat. Simmer, uncovered for 13 minutes, stirring every 2 minutes or until pasta is tender and most liquid is absorbed. Sprinkle with cheese; serve immediately.

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