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Liquid Gold Goes Bold

Sep 14, 2015 04:31AM ● Published by Family Features

(Family Features) If cooler days have you wishing for savory dishes, give your menu a boost this fall with a bold, spicy twist on your favorite comfort foods. Rich, creamy dishes featuring pasta and a kick of spicy heat will warm you up from the inside out.

A traditional pasta and cheese is the perfect foundation for a delicious skillet dish, one-pot pleaser or casserole that blends familiar flavors with new ones to make an easy and complete weeknight dinner. Packaged options such as Velveeta Shells & Cheese can help shave preparation time, and with new bold Jalapeño and Chipotle flavors, you can bring the heat to a whole new level.

These recipes show how easy it is to combine simple proteins, such as chicken or beef, in addition to your favorite cheesy pasta and spices for a cozy dish in minutes.

Perfect Your Pasta
No cheesy pasta is complete unless it’s perfectly prepared. Follow these dos and don’ts to get your pasta just right:

Do use lots of water. The ideal amount is 4 to 6 quarts per pound of pasta. This allows the pasta enough room to cook without sticking together.

Don’t add oil. If you have enough water, you won’t need to add oil to prevent sticking.

Do stir pasta when you first add it to the water to prevent it from sticking together and to the bottom of the pot.

Don’t throw pasta against the wall. Instead, use the cooking time on the package as a guide, then try a piece to see if it’s the right texture. Italians like their pasta “al dente” (a little chewy), but you might like it softer.

Don’t rinse cooked pasta; you’ll rinse away the starch, which actually helps the sauce stick. Only rinse pasta if it will be used cold, such as in a salad.

Find more recipes at Velveeta.com.

Beefy Nacho Shells and Cheese

Ingredients

  • 1 package Velveeta Shells & Cheese Bold, Jalapeño
  • 1/2 pound lean ground beef
  • 2 teaspoons taco seasoning mix
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/2 cup crushed tortilla chips

Preparation

  1. Boil 6 cups water in saucepan. Stir in shell pasta and jalapeños; cook 8-10 minutes or until tender, stirring occasionally. Drain pasta and jalapeños. Do not rinse. Return to pan. Add cheese sauce; mix well.
  2. Meanwhile, brown ground beef in skillet; drain. Add taco seasoning mix and water; simmer until most of the water is cooked off. Add meat mixture to cooked pasta with cheese sauce; mix well. Top with tortilla chips.
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Jalapeño-Bacon Shells and Cheese

Ingredients

  • 1 package Velveeta Shells & Cheese Bold, Jalapeño
  • 4 slices cooked and chopped bacon

Preparation

  1. Boil 6 cups water in saucepan. Stir in shell pasta and jalapeños; cook 8-10 minutes or until tender, stirring occasionally. Drain pasta and jalapeños. Do not rinse. Return to pan. Add cheese sauce; mix well. Add bacon to prepared pasta.

Smoke and Spice Chicken Shells and Cheese

Ingredients

  • 1 package Velveeta Shells & Cheese Bold, Chipotle
  • 3/4 pound chopped, cooked chicken

Preparation

  1. Boil 6 cups water in saucepan. Stir in shell pasta; cook 8-10 minutes or until tender, stirring occasionally. Drain pasta. Do not rinse. Return to pan. Add cheese sauce and seasoning; mix well. Add chicken to prepared pasta.

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