Beef with Tomatoes, Pasta, and Chili Sauce

January 5, 2009 by andrea | Filed under Beef, Main Dish, Pasta, Quick Cooking, Recipes.


This spicy beef noodle dish made a good weeknight dinner; nothing fancy but certainly quick and easy. You’ve got a little bit of everything in one bowl with this meal…thinly sliced beef, stir fried veggies, pasta. The soy sauce, Sriracha and tomatoes combine to lightly coat the meat, veggies and pasta without standing in the way of their individual flavors. I thought that the one tablespoon of Sriracha was enough to give the dish a pleasant amount of heat. Use less, though, if you’re apprehensive about the spice factor; you can always drizzle more on later if you want more zip.  

The beef released alot of juices when I was browning it so I transfered the beef (and it’s juices) to a bowl, wiped out the pan, added more oil, and proceeded with the recipe. Some of the prep could be done ahead of time to speed up the cooking process. The handy hint in the recipe on chilling the beef in the freezer (before cutting) for a half hour really does make it easier to slice. Just don’t leave it in there too long or you’ll have a frozen hunk of meat. Sunset even includes recipe variations in case you want to change things up a bit. When it comes to food, variety really is the spice of life!

Beef with Tomatoes, Pasta, and Chili Sauce
-from Sunset magazine

While researching a story on Peruvian cooking (“Peruvian Passage,” June 2006), we came across tallarín saltado, a popular fusion dish that combines Asian stir-fry techniques with beef, fresh tomatoes, Asian chili sauce, and Italian spaghetti. It was a hit here at Sunset: It’s fast and easy, and you can substitute other meats, vegetables, or different kinds of pasta. This is our favorite combination, using broccoli and fusilli. Notes: Slicing the beef is easier if it has been chilled for 20 to 30 minutes in the freezer. For less spicy heat, decrease or leave out the chili sauce.

Makes 4 servings

1/2 pound fusilli pasta
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 pound beef sirloin, halved lengthwise and cut into 1/4-in.-thick slices
1 large onion, halved lengthwise and cut into thin wedges
3 cups broccoli florets (about 1 in. each)
3 tablespoons soy sauce
1 tablespoon Sriracha (Asian red chili sauce)
1 tablespoon chopped fresh cilantro, plus more for garnish
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
3 medium tomatoes, cut into 1-in.-thick wedges

Bring a large pot of salted water to boil. Add fusilli. Cook until tender to the bite, 5 to 10 minutes. Drain and set aside.

Meanwhile, heat the oil in a large frying pan over medium-high heat. When oil is hot, add beef and cook until it starts to brown, about 3 minutes. Stir and let it continue to brown for 2 to 3 minutes more. Transfer beef to a plate, reserving oil, and set aside.

Add onion to the pan and cook, stirring often, until it begins to brown, 2 to 3 minutes. Add broccoli and cook until bright green, 2 to 3 minutes. Add soy sauce, Sriracha, cilantro, and pepper. Cook, stirring frequently, about 3 minutes. Add tomatoes and reserved beef and cook until tomatoes begin to release their juices, 2 to 3 minutes longer. Add the cooked fusilli, stir, and cook until most of the liquid has evaporated or been absorbed by the pasta, 2 to 3 minutes. Season to taste with additional soy sauce or Sriracha. Serve hot with a sprinkling of fresh cilantro, if desired.

Variations: This dish is extremely flexible, and the soy-chili sauce tastes great with any of the following additions and/or substitutions.

Chicken or shrimp:Use 1 lb. boned, skinned chicken breasts cut into 1/4-in.-thick strips, or 1 lb. medium shelled and deveined shrimp.

Other vegetables: Add your favorite green vegetable (such as green beans or zucchini) in addition to or in place of the broccoli. You can also toss in a thinly sliced red or green bell pepper or 1 cup thinly sliced green cabbage (add at the same time as the onion).

Swap pastas:Try using penne pasta instead of fusilli. Or, for a more authentically Peruvian version, use spaghetti.

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