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Spaghetti Tacos

 

spaghetti-taco
I was quietly working on my computer and glancing up at the T.V., while my 2 year old was watching one of the few shows he seems to like, iCarly. I’m not sure if it’s the extraordinarily cute girls or the wacky, colorful set that appeals to him, but he seems to like it. On this episode, Carly’s older brother was in the kitchen making dinner. I glance up at the screen a few moments later as the girls ask what’s for dinner, and he proudly yells, “Spaghetti Tacos!” I thought it was gross, but a funny joke. We watched several other episodes where the characters referenced the running joke, spaghetti tacos. A few months later we watched an episode completely devoted to the spaghetti taco in which there is a cook-off between Carly and a crazy chef named Ricky Flame.

Since then I have seen spaghetti tacos on several mom blogs and recipe web sites, and just recently, even in the New York Times. It seems the iCarly creator, Dan Schneider, had no idea his little gag would turn into such a phenomenon. There are so many kids into spaghetti tacos right now, there’s even a facebook page devoted to them.  A mom blogger has even come up with a dessert version of a spaghetti taco made with a brownie decorated to look like a taco. There are kids all across the country begging for these odd little creations at their birthday parties, slumber parties and just because they’re cool.

When I saw what a surge in popularity spaghetti tacos have had, I just had to try them for myself. I couldn’t imagine mixing an Italian marinara sauce covered spaghetti and a crispy corn tortilla. The concept was a little odd to me, so I created a Mexican inspired tomato sauce for the noodles. I then added traditional taco toppings. They were really tasty, but the conflicting textures was something not every adult will be able to enjoy.  My son sure loved them though, he scarfed down this plate and begged for more.

I created this recipe to make these tacos as palatable as possible for a grownup. If you want to just strip the recipe down to the essentials and make it super simple, just buy your favorite pre-made jarred spaghetti sauce.  Then mix it with cooked spaghetti, and fill the tacos. Sprinkle with a little lettuce to add some color if you like.

Spaghetti Tacos Recipe

Ingredients
12 taco shells
8 oz package of spaghetti noodles
shredded lettuce
sour cream

For the fresh tomato salsa
1 tomato diced
2 tablespoons finely chopped onion
1 tablespoon fresh cilantro, chopped fine
a dash of kosher salt

For the guacamole
1 avocado
1 teaspoon fresh cilantro, chopped fine
the juice of 1 lime

For the taco ground beef
1 lb ground sirloin
1/2 medium onion
1 garlic
1/2 teaspoon cumin
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon dried cilantro
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1 tablespoons tomato paste
1/4 cup water

For spaghetti sauce
1 – 15 oz can diced tomatoes
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1 teaspoon cumin
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon dried cilantro
a dash of onion powder
a dash of garlic powder
a dash of cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

Directions
1.  Heat taco shells according to package directions. Add all ingredients for fresh tomato salsa to a large bowl. Mix well. Add all ingredients for guacamole to a bowl. Use a fork to mash avocado and mix well. For taco beef, add beef, onion, garlic herbs and spices to a large skillet. Brown meat. Add tomato sauce and water. Bring to a boil and reduce to a simmer. Simmer until thickened.

2.  For spaghetti noodles, cook according to package directions. For spaghetti sauce, add all ingredients to a saucepan and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer, and simmer for at least 15 minutes.

3.  Add noodles to sauce and mix well.

4.  To assemble, prepare tacos as usual, except start with sauced noodles, then taco beef, lettuce, tomato, guacamole and sour cream.

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