In the kitchen, sometimes it’s fun to combine a few different country’s cuisines in one. Mexican food happens to be one of my all-time favorite foods, yet sometimes I like to enjoy those same authentic flavors, but prepared a little differently. Tortillas, flour or corn, are usually the starch in many Mexican recipes, however using pasta as an alternative can make a dish so interesting.
Enchilada sauce in a jar or can, can be conveniently delightful when it’s cooked with meat because the blended balance of chilies and spices are already done for you. I’m not one to buy pre-made ingredients much, but there are some products that I do think taste as good as you would make them from scratch. I had a jar of organic Whole Foods enchilada sauce in my pantry from the year long pandemic, and I thought it was time for it to find a home. My conclusion was using this jarred sauce made life super easy, and the flavors when cooked down with chunks of pork, tasted just like the filling of an enchilada at my local taco truck.
I decided to toss this sauce with pasta, instead of folding it inside a tortilla with cheeses, because I enjoy a good warm bowl of spaghetti now and again. The meaty chili sauce was vibrant and could handle the al dente noodles, which absorbed it’s reddish hue, and mildly spicy taste. I served the entire pot of spaghetti family-style in a big bowl, so my family could spoon it onto their plates with a smile. This dish couldn’t get any easier, especially with only four ingredients from the pantry. I think it’s a real winner, and I’m going to buy another jar of enchilada sauce for my pantry.
1 pound pork tenderloin, cut into chunks
2 cloves garlic, minced
14 ounce jar or can red enchilada sauce, mild or medium
12 ounces spaghetti
Parmesan cheese, optional
olive oil for cooking
salt & pepper
- Salt and pepper pork, set aside. In a large pot or Dutch oven, add 2 teaspoons olive oil and place over medium heat. After 2 minutes, add pork cubes and brown slightly on all sides, about 8 minutes.
- Add garlic and stir. Cook for 1 minute. Add enchilada sauce over top and turn heat to simmer. Cover pot with lid and cook for 1 1/2 hours or until pork can be pulled with two forks. Shred pork in sauce into chunky pieces.
- Boil water for pasta and add salt. Cook spaghetti for 9 minutes. Reserve 1 cup pasta water and drain.
- Add spaghetti to sauce with pork, toss. Add 1/4 cup reserved pasta water, toss. Add more water if needed. Serve warm and sprinkle with parmesan cheese, if desired. Enjoy!