This is based on the traditional mexican fideo. A type of absorption pasta —gwen soto
Macaroni or penne pasta
Cheddar-jack cheese, shredded
1 1/2 cups
Minced white onion
1 1/2 cups
Minced cilantro leaves and stems
Cloves garlic, minced
Whole cumin seed
Dried Mexican oregano
Water or broth to cover
In This Recipe
Heat oil on medium, add dry pasta and sauté until it is starting to brown nicely. Next add the onion, sauté a few minutes, then add the cumin and toast until it smells fragrant. Rub the oregano between your palms and add it next followed by the minced garlic and chipotle flakes. Sauté a couple of minutes and add the cilantro. Continue to sauté until you have a nice soft 'sofrito' about 5-10 minutes on medium-low heat. Add the tomato paste and sauté a few more minutes.
Now add the water or broth just to cover the noodles, stir in the salt, bring to a boil then turn down the heat a bit, stirring the noodle mixture occasionly until all the liquid has been absorbed and the pasta is fully cooked. Add a bit more liquid if necessary. Taste for salt. Now add the cheese,stir, cover and turn off the heat. It just takes a minute or two to melt the cheese and dinner is ready to be served.
One note: if you would like a bit of salsa fresca to put on the cooked pasta, just reserve some of the onion, cilantro and chile to sprinkle on at the table. Also if children or others do not like spicy food reserve the chile to be added after cooking
Hope you enjoy this as much as my family always has!