Mexican-chili-spaghetti

Tonight I was thinking of firing up some grilled cheese in honor of April, National Grilled Cheese Month, but wanted to try and use up some nacho cheese/cheese dip I made a few days ago.  I checked the cupboard and only had a partial box of macaroni-ish (cavatapi) noodles so I had to top and think about what I could do.  I noticed a full box of thin spaghetti and decided to make mexican-chili-spaghetti.

I often cook more traditional types of food, but I equally often make something to eat out of whatever I can find in the kitchen.  Here’s what I had today:

  • 1 can kidney beans
  • 1 can black beans
  • 1 can pinto beans
  • 1 can diced tomatoes
  • 1 box thin spaghetti
  • Left over cheese dip
    • 1 box velveeta
    • 1lb Jimmy Dean ground sausage
    • 2 cans Rotel (diced tomatoes and green chilies)
    • Black pepper
    • Oregano
    • Chili powder
    • Ground jalapeño chilies (Anthony Spices)
    • Ground hatch chilies (Anthony Spices)
    • Maybe something else I’m forgetting
  • Black pepper
  • Sea salt (“regular” salt is fine)
  • Onion powder

Step 1: I started a big pot of boiling water with some sea salt, black pepper and onion powder in it.  After I had a decent boil started I dropped in the whole box of spaghetti and let it cook for about five or 6 minutes.

Step 2: I then turned the heat down to 4/10 and dumped the noodles in a colander.  I then opened and dumped the cans of tomatoes and beans into the pot, followed by the drained noodles, and placed the pot back onto the stove.  The cans beans and tomatoes had enough juices in them to allow my new mixture to heat without sticking or burning.  It was a little tricky, but I somewhat mixed the whole thing up with a wooden spoon.

Step 3: This is where I added some of that cheese dip into the mix.  I put about half of my container into the pot, tried to do some more mixing and decided to let it simmer.  I placed a lid on top and the mixture cooked for almost 20 minutes.  This was almost too long, 10-15 minutes would be better.  Things were starting to stick.

Step 4: By now the noodles were pretty soft, yet still very long.  I took a metal spatula and chopped everything up a bit.  The I was using is teflon coated, so I was careful not to scratch or scrape the bottom.  Then I added the rest of the cheese dip, recovered and let the whole thing simmer another 15 minutes.

Here are a couple pictures I took.