Zesty Cheesy Chili Mac, a #NewTraDish

Growing up, we had spaghetti a lot. My mom worked fulltime, and as working moms know, the last thing you want to do when you get home is make anything other than an impression on the couch.

So spaghetti is kind of a savior. It’s a quick and easy dinner, and everyone likes it. Even picky kids can’t seem to find a fault with it.

My mom? She used Ragú. Always. In fact, she still does, and as her daughter, I have to say, I do, too. But here’s the thing…I fought against it for a while. You know, rebellion. I tried so many other brands of sauce, expensive brands, medium brands… and while they were all okay, I just had to come back to the tried and true. Ragú.

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I know what I like.

Until I was contacted by Ragú to take part in this #NewTraDish Challenge, I only knew I loved the taste and price. What I didn’t know was that each jar of Ragú® Old World Style® Traditional Sauce is made with 11 juicy tomatoes making it its richest, thickest recipe.I’m not sure how they GET 11 tomatoes in one jar, but maybe that’s because I’m not magic.

So…what’s this #NewTraDish thing all about? Well, I was supposed to take a traditional recipe, and put my own spin on it. The recipe I was given to change up? Chili Mac. The original Ragú Chili Mac had four ingredients: beef, noodles, chili powder and Ragú. To keep with the theme, I didn’t want to turn it into something else…I wanted it to still ring – Chili Mac. But I made it a little zestier. Festive. More chopped tomatoes, some bright Mexican Corn, and the be all, end all of Mexican flavors – cilantro. I can’t get enough cilantro and it’s authentic essence. I hope you’ll give this recipe a spin and let me know what you think!

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Zesty Cheesy Chili Mac

  • Serves: 4-6
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Cook Time: 15 minutes

Ingredients

  • 16 ounce box elbow macaroni, cooked
  • 2 Tbsp. Olive oil
  • 1 medium yellow onion, chopped
  • 1 lb. lean ground beef
  • 1 tsp. kosher salt
  • 14.5 ounce can diced tomatoes, drained
  • 1 packet chili seasoning
  • 1 jar Ragú® Old World Style® Traditional Sauce·
  • 11 ounce can Mexican Corn
  • 2 cups shredded Mexican Blend Cheese
  • ½ cup chopped fresh cilantro

Instructions

1. Preheat oven to 350. Have a large, deep casserole dish at the ready. Set aside.

2. Cook pasta according to box instructions; prepare rest of dish as pasta is cooking.

3. Melt butter in large, heavy bottomed skillet; add onions and sauté for 5 minutes. Add ground beef and cook until browned. Once beef is cooked, add salt, tomatoes, chili seasoning, and Ragú® Old World Style® Traditional sauce. Stir to combine and cook over medium low heat for 5 minutes or until ready to add to pasta.

4. Drain pasta and return to pot. Stir in corn and 1 ½ cups of cheese. Once combined, stir in the chili. Pour into the casserole dish and top with remaining cheese. Bake for 15 minutes.

5. Remove from oven and serve topped with cilantro.

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More about Ragú

For more easy and delicious Authentic Italian recipe ideas, look here, on the Ragú Facebook Page. There are tons, and I’m sure you’ll fid some inspiration!.

How about a chance to WIN A TRIP TO ITALY??Enter the Ragú Better and Better Sweepstakes for a chance to win great Authentic Italian themed prizes, including a grand prize trip to Venice for a family of four! Me, I’ve been to Venice several times, and trust me – you WANT this. What an incredible prize!

Follow them on Twitter at @RaguSauce, and their hashtag #NewTraDish.

Have a great day!

NO PURCHASE NECESSARY. Legal residents of the 50 United States (D.C.) 18 years and older. Ends 5/6/14. To enter and for Official Rules, including odds, alternate method of entry, and prize descriptions, visit www.RaguSweeps.com. Void where prohibited.

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Ragú®. The opinions and text are all mine.

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