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Sunday, January 18, 2009

Dinner Guests and a New Pasta Recipe - Presto Pasta Night

We had a party last night with good friends and good food. This is a group who comes over a couple of times a year. I always try to make different recipes for them. People always say that you should only cook what you know, but I decided to live life a little on the edge and try something new a different for dinner.

For this group – people who love to go dirt track racing – I usually make two pastas. Why? I don’t know, it just kind of works out that way. Anyway, I decided to go with BBQ spaghetti; see previous post, and a pasta that sort of came to me while I was cleaning out the fridge and eating leftovers.

My entry for Presto Pasta Night is a pasta that I made up. While searching through the fridge, I found some plain pasta that I decided to eat, and the rest of the taco meat from the night before – the boys had used the rest of the burrito shells. I decided to mix the two, add some cheese and heat up. It was really good. I ended up eating two helpings and saving some for my hubby. He added salsa, jalapenos, and beans and also really seemed to like it. That gave me the idea for Taco Pasta. I cooked pasta, added taco meat, black beans, and cilantro and combined. I also had condiments for the pasta; tomatoes, salsa, guacamole, olives, peppers, lettuce, cheese, sour cream, and jalapenos. Dinner was served buffet style and everyone was able to add what they wanted to their pasta.

We also had Sausage Cups with Cheese and Ranch Dressing. I have made them before, but thought they needed a little zip, so I added chili powder and green onions to the mix and they turned out very well. Out of 40, there were only 4 or 5 left – I ate them for lunch today with some leftover Mungo Salad – one of my favorite salads. We served that too.

The boys love it when we have friends over – it gives them someone else to play with and show off to. they really like one of our friends and have actually named him Presto Boy, because he likes pesto sauce with noodles, and yes, he calls it presto, just to make the boys laugh. Anyway, they got to bowl with him and another one of our friends on the Wii. The little one beat them all.

The party broke up after 11 p.m. It was a really great night. Since we have had kids, we don’t get out as often as we used to, so it is nice to have friends over to visit and just hang out. We watched the car auction on TV and wished we could buy some of the cars. I do have to give out a big thanks to this group – they are the best, and I mean best helpers when it comes to cleaning up. When they visit, it is the only time that I have nothing else to clean in the morning. Thanks guys!

Taco Pasta

1 ½ lb pasta – I used Penne
2 lbs ground meat
Taco seasoning
2 14 oz cans black beans
One large handful chopped cilantro

Condiments: you may use what you want.
Sautéed peppers and onions
Black olives, sliced
Sour cream
Cheddar and jack cheese, shredded

Cook taco meat according to taco sauce directions. While meat is cooking, cook pasta according to directions and drain. Drain beans and heat up, either in microwave or on stovetop. Combine above ingredients. Add chopped cilantro. Serve alongside condiments and let everyone choose their toppings. Serve immediately so that flavors can blend.

Sausage Cheese Cups – adapted from a Allrecipes.com

Wonton wraps
2 lbs pork sausage, cooked and drained
2 cups cheddar and jack cheese, shredded
2 cups ranch dressing
2 tbsp chili powder
5-6 scallions, chopped

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a mini muffin pan and insert wonton wrappers to form a small cup. Bake five minutes in a preheated oven. Allow to cool.

Combine rest of ingredients and add to cooled wonton cups – cook for 10 minutes or until mixture is bubbly. Cool five minutes and serve. Makes 40 Sausage cups.

This week's Presto Pasta night is being hosted by Cook (almost) Anything at least once. Presto Pasta is a weekly event that is hosted by a different blogger each week. Go to Cook (almost) Anything at least once and check out all the posts!


HoneyB said...

It all looks and sounds so good, but those sausage cups.....oh, I want one!

Looks like a great time! I love getting together with friends and/or family like this!

recipes2share said...

This looks a great party & fab food!

Katie's blog said...

Thanks for the comments! Dinner was great and we all had a good time!

Anonymous said...

All of our faves on one plate. You've got a good idea going there!

Ruth Daniels said...

Thanks for sharing with Presto Pasta Nights. Everything looks awesome.