Sometimes we must create on the fly and often those are some of our most memorable creations.
Let me set the scene…a gaggle of hungry preteen-teen boys descends upon our home. They are famished after games of basketball, air hockey and fooseball. They want something more substantial than bags of chips, cookies or Gatorade. Oh, and one of them will not eat “sauce” of any kind. Hmmm.
Okay, my brain kicks into high gear while I try to think what will fill these kids up and make everyone happy. I grab a bag of ziti pasta, fire roasted tomatoes with green chiles, black beans and chopped olives.
I shred some cheese and in the time it takes to cook the pasta, this dish is ready to serve and it disappears faster than I can even imagine. Now it is a highly requested dish. It is so good as is no one even misses the fact that it is a meatless and essentially sauceless dish. It’s packed with flavor.
I love the shape of ziti but sometimes I have a hard time finding it at the store. Is it readily available in your area?
- 12 oz dry ziti pasta
- 1 (14.5 ounce) can Muir Glen Fire Roasted Tomatoes with Green Chiles, drained (this brand is the best)
- 1 (15 ounce) can black beans, drained and rinsed
- 1 (4 ounce) can chopped black olives
- 2 cups shredded extra sharp cheddar cheese
- tortilla chips
- pickled jalapeno slices
- green onion
- Chipotle Tabasco or whatever you like we let everyone drizzle on their own chioce
- sour cream
- Cook pasta according to package directions.
- While pasta is cooking add fire-roasted tomatoes to a nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Even though you already drained the tomatoes, there will still be some residual watery juices present. Cook until extra juice cooks off, this will only take a couple minutes. Turn down heat to med-low and add beans and olives. Combine mixture and warm through.
- When pasta is done cooking, drain and combine with tomato-bean-olive mixture.
- Place half of pasta on a serving tray and sprinkle with one cup of cheese. Add the rest of pasta on top and sprinkle with remaining layer of cheese. Top with a handful of pickled jalapenos and green onions. Place tortilla chips in and around serving dish as this can just be scooped up like a dip. No forks required. Serve with a variety of hot sauces and sour cream if desired.
We have made this several more times since “that day” and we love to drizzle Chipotle Tabasco over the top. It tastes amazing. Sour cream is a good addition too.
Two Years Ago: Lemon-Thyme Bruschetta
Four Years Ago: Chinese-American Chow Mein
Five Years Ago: A Rainy Day, Lost Luggage & Tangled Christmas Tree Lights