Layering half of the cheddar inside this casserole ensures every bite is cheesy. Ancho chile powder gives this dish a touch of smoky heat without being overly spicy, but if you don’t have it on hand, feel free to use regular chile powder instead. Serve with lime wedges for a hit of acidity.
3 cups boxed, jarred or BPA-free-canned unsalted diced tomatoes
1 15-oz BPA-free can unsalted black beans, drained and rinsed (TRY: Eden Organic Black Beans No Salt Added)
2 jalapeño chile peppers, seeded and chopped
2 tsp ancho chile powder
1/2 tsp garlic powder
12 oz whole-grain farfalle
2 cups grated cheddar cheese
1/2 avocado, peeled, pitted and chopped
1/3 cup packed fresh cilantro, roughly chopped
1 lime, cut into wedges, optional
Preheat oven to 375˚F. Mist a 13 x 9-inch baking dish with cooking spray. Set aside.
Mist a large skillet with cooking spray and heat on medium-high. Add beef, onion, ½ tsp salt and black pepper and cook, breaking up beef with a spoon, until no longer pink, 7 to 8 minutes. Stir in tomatoes, beans, jalapeños, chile powder, garlic powder and remaining ¼ tsp salt. Bring to a simmer and cook, stirring occasionally, until heated through, about 3 minutes.
Meanwhile, in a large pot, cook pasta al dente according to package directions. Drain; return to pot. Stir in beef mixture.
Spread half of beef-pasta mixture into baking dish and sprinkle with half of cheese. Top with remaining beef-pasta mixture and cheese, spreading evenly. Bake until cheese is melted and sauce is bubbling, 12 to 14 minutes. Let stand for 10 minutes. Garnish servings with avocado and cilantro. Serve with lime wedges (if using).
Cooking with chiles is a skill that Mexican cooks have honed into an art form over centuries. This bowl with soul contains beans and corn, two staples of south-of-the-border recipes, but also keeps things light and fresh with cubed avocado and thinly sliced radishes.