Southwest Skillet Ragu

Up the pasta, swap out the meat for more mushrooms, stir in some leftover ricotta — no matter what, it's going to be good. P.S. If you love smoky flavors, try making this with smoked cheddar. That version is insanely good.
Photo by Henya B.
Adapted from thekitchn.com

PREP TIME

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minutes

TOTAL TIME

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minutes

SERVINGS

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servings

PREP TIME

--

minutes

TOTAL TIME

--

minutes

SERVINGS

--

servings

Adapted from thekitchn.com

Ingredients

  • 1

    cup elbow macaroni

  • 1 to 1 1/2

    pounds ground beef or turkey

  • 1

    large yellow onion, diced

  • 1

    red (or green, orange, or yellow) bell pepper, chopped

  • 8 to 12

    ounces (one package) white or baby bella mushrooms, quartered

  • 2-3

    cloves garlic, minced

  • 1

    tablespoon chili powder

  • 1

    teaspoon cumin

  • 1

    teaspoon smoked paprika

  • 1/4

    teaspoon cayenne or red pepper flakes (optional)

  • 1

    28-ounce can diced tomatoes with juices

  • 1

    cup shredded cheddar cheese, plus extra to serve

  • Salt and pepper

Directions

Bring a 4-quart pot of water to boil. Salt the water, and cook the pasta until it is barely al dente and still a little chewy. Drain the pasta, reserving a cup of the cooking liquid, and set aside. While the pasta is cooking, begin cooking the ragu. Heat a teaspoon of olive oil over medium-high heat in a skillet or Dutch oven deep enough to hold everything. Add the ground beef and cook until browned all the way through, about 8 minutes. Transfer the ground beef to a plate. Pour off any grease, leaving behind just enough to film the bottom of the pan. Cook the onions in the skillet with a half teaspoon of salt until they are soft, translucent, and beginning to brown, 5 to 6 minutes. Add the mushrooms, and cook until they have released all their liquid and turned golden brown, another 5 to 6 minutes. Add the peppers and cook until softened, another 2 to 3 minutes. Stir in the garlic, spices, and another half teaspoon of salt, and cook until the garlic is fragrant, about 30 seconds. Pour tomatoes with their juices into the pan and bring to a boil. Add the hamburger back to the pan, and simmer until the liquid has reduced and thickened, about 5 minutes. Stir in the cheese and the pasta, and stir until the cheese is melted and gooey. Taste and add salt, pepper, or more spices to taste. Add some of the reserved cooking water if you'd like a thinner ragu. Spoon into individual bowls, top with an extra scattering of cheese, and serve!

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