Mexican Hotdish

I grew up eating a lot of pasta hotdishes and casseroles. We would have them at home at least once or twice a week, and I could always count on at least that many for school hot lunch every week or so.

And I liked just about every one, no matter what kind. I can remember only one hotdish that I didn’t like, and it wasn’t made my mom or by my Auntie Helen, who was the head cook at our school.

I still am pretty fond of pasta hotdish. Therese makes one with ground meat, green beans, a can of tomato soup and a little onion. (Her secret ingredient is a dash of Worcestershire sauce.) It’s one of our grandchildren’s favorite meals. They have fondly have named it “Grandma’s Hotdish.”

Here’s a recipe for another hotdish that just came my way from  the National Pasta Association. It’s called Mexican-Style Bow Ties. The recipe offers a way for families to enjoy a fast family-style Mexican meal with a new twist.

Mexican-Style Bow Ties
8 ounces bow tie, elbow macaroni (or your favorite pasta shape), uncooked (see note)
8 ounces. lean ground beef
1 16-ounce can kidney beans or pinto beans, drained
1/8 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon chili powder
2 medium tomatoes, seeded and chopped
2 8-ounce cans whole kernel, no-salt-added corn, drained
1 small green bell pepper, chopped
½ cup shredded Cheddar cheese
½ cup sliced green onions
1 cup low-fat, plain yogurt
½ cup medium salsa
In a medium skillet, brown ground beef and drain any excess fat. Add beans, cumin and chili powder; heat through. Prepare pasta according to package directions; drain.
In large bowl, combine pasta, meat mixture, tomatoes, corn, green pepper, cheese and onions.
In small bowl, combine yogurt and salsa. Add to pasta mixture and toss well. Serve warm or cold. Garnish with additional salsa, if desired.
Note: Whole-grain, multigrain or whole-wheat pasta varieties may be substituted.
Yield: Serves 6.
Approximate nutritional analysis per serving: 425 calories, 11.5 grams fat (5 grams saturated),
57 grams carbohydrates, 22 grams protein, 5 grams dietary fiber, 505 milligrams sodium.