2 cups (8 ounces) uncooked elbow macaroni
2 pounds ground beef
1 large onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 cans (14-1/2 ounces each) diced tomatoes, undrained
1 can (16 ounces) kidney beans, rinsed and drained
1 can (6 ounces) tomato paste
1 can (4 ounces) chopped green chilies, drained
1-1/2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon chili powder
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon pepper
2 cups shredded Monterey Jack cheese
2 jalapeno peppers, seeded and chopped
1 Cook macaroni according to package directions. Meanwhile, in a large saucepan, cook beef and onion over medium heat, crumbling beef, until meat is no longer pink. Add garlic; cook 1 minute longer. Drain. Stir in next eight ingredients. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer, uncovered, for 10 minutes. Drain macaroni; stir into beef mixture.
2 Preheat oven to 375°. Transfer macaroni mixture to two greased 2-qt. baking dishes. Top with cheese and jalapenos. Cover and bake at 375° for 30 minutes. Uncover; bake until bubbly and heated through, about 10 minutes longer. Serve one casserole. Cool the second; cover and freeze up to 3 months.
3 To use frozen casserole: Thaw in refrigerator 8 hours. Preheat oven to 375°. Remove from refrigerator 30 minutes before baking. Cover and bake, increasing time as necessary to heat through and for a thermometer inserted in center to read 165°, 20-25 minutes. Yield: 2 casseroles (6 servings each).
Editor's Note: Wear disposable gloves when cutting hot peppers; the oils can burn skin. Avoid touching your face.
My Note: as I am not a lover of hot/spicey food, I would omit the hot peppers and chilies and let others add hot sauce to taste.
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