Wednesday night, I decided to make something I haven’t made in many years. Mexican spaghetti was a dish I made when Dennis and I were first married. This was out of necessity one night when I was making pasta and realized I didn’t have any spaghetti sauce. Hmmm, I thought? What should I do now? As I looked in the pantry, I came across a jar of salsa. Mexican spaghetti was created and brought into our dinner rotation. The other night, I decided to make it with Fusilli though instead of spaghetti noodles. I also added quite a bit more to it than in the first years I made this dish.
I grated two cloves of garlic and one large, diced shallot into a pound of ground turkey. One teaspoon of kosher salt and a half teaspoon of black pepper were also added. For moisture, I added an undrained can of mild diced green peppers. Wow! This really made my meatballs moist. Yum, yum, yum! A also added 1/4 cup of breadcrumbs. I mixed this all together with a fork to keep it light and fluffy. I used a cookie scoop to measure my meatballs and place them on the baking sheet. They were baked at 350 degrees for 30 minutes. Perfecto, if I don’t say so myself.
While my meatballs were baking, I prepared my rolls. Since I wanted this to be a Mexican based meal, I combined 1/4 cup of olive oil with 1/2 teaspoon of dried oregano, three dashes of Mrs. Dash Salt Free Southwest Chipotle seasoning and 1/8 teaspoon of Fleur de Sel finishing salt. I mixed this together in a small bowl and brushed it over my rolls. You can use any roll or bread you like, but I used the Trader Joe’s Panini Rustic Rolls, half-baked. I placed them on my baking sheet and brushed the olive oil/spice mix over each roll. I put them in the oven for about 15 minutes. These were really good, with quite a kick of flavor.
I wanted to make a sort of Mexican Caesar salad. I started with romaine that I tore up and put into a bowl. I added the Heavenly Village Marzano Tomatoes from Trader Joe’s. (My friend, Karin, introduced me to these tomatoes. They are so good, I eat them right out of the bag for a snack.) I halved them and added them to my romaine, I shredded pepper jack cheese over the top, added thinly sliced red onion, diced jalapeño (seed and membrane removed) and I cut up fresh mango. I topped the salad with chopped cilantro for freshness. I sprinkled kosher salt, fresh pepper and a little garlic powder onto my salad.
I then made my dressing. This was super simple. I used light Ranch Dressing out of the bottle, added a couple shakes of the Mrs. Dash Salt Free Southwest Chipotle, a sprinkle of kosher salt, fresh pepper, diced jalapeño and chopped cilantro. Easy peasy, super tasty.
I boiled my Fusilli noodles and drained them. I put them in a bowl, where I added three medium size jars of salsa (I used a chipotle salsa, you can use anything you choose.). I added a can of corn, drained, and mixed this together. I topped it with my meatballs, diced jalapeño, avocado, pepper jack cheese and cilantro. Voila! Here’s a picture of the finished pasta dish. I hope you try this and if you do, I hope you enjoy it as much as my family did.
After dinner, we were packing the leftovers up, etc. and I decided to make my husband a sandwich for lunch the next day with one of the leftover rolls, a few leftover meatballs, salsa, chopped cilantro and pepper jack cheese. A little lunch out of the leftover, perfect! This would have been great with a simple arugula salad. I love arugula, Dennis not so much. Chips it was for him.