This has become one of my favorite pasta recipes over the last couple of years. I have to admit, though, when I first saw Rachael Ray make Cowboy Spaghetti on the Food Network in the fall of 2006, I thought the concept was odd.
But, I was intrigued enough by the combination of bacon, scallions and cheddar to think it might be a good. And it’s now a favorite! I only make it occasionally because, well, it has bacon and beef and cheese, but it’s well worth it once in a while. Also, the recipe below is my tweaked version in case you are wondering why it doesn’t look exactly like the Food Network one. The recipe calls for 3 slices of bacon, but my husband insists on 6 because “you need some bacon in every bite.” And I increased the hot sauce and the Worcestershire sauce to give the whole dish more punch.
Before I share the deliciousness with you, I wanted to tell you to be sure to check out to check out Tales from the Fairy Blogmother, aka the home of What’s Cooking Wednesday.
I also wanted to mention that this is my first entry for this week’s Presto Pasta Night. I discovered this food blogging event fairly recently. It’s a weekly roundup of pasta recipes — any pasta, any cuisine, any shape, any meal. How fun is that? Ruth at Once Upon a Feast created the event, and the hosts change weekly. This week’s host is Melissa from The Cooking Diva. Both of those blogs are recent discoveries for me, and promise to be truly great reads.
And now, on to the deliciousness:
Cowboy Spaghetti (adapted from Rachael Ray’s Express Lane Meals)
Makes a lot of food, about 6 servings
1 pound spaghetti
6 slices smoky bacon
1 pound ground sirloin
1 medium onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic,finely chopped
Ground black pepper
2-3 tablespoons hot sauce
1 1/2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
1/2 cup beer
1 28 oz can crushed tomatoes (CGL: I prefer to use Muir Glen’s Crushed Fire Roasted Tomatoes for this recipe — it adds to the smoky goodness — but any good crushed tomatoes work beautifully)
8 ounces sharp cheddar cheese
4 scallions, trimmed and chopped.
Heat a pot of water to a boil. Add spaghetti to the water. Cook to al dente or with a bite to it. Drain pasta but reserve a cup of the pasta water.
Heat a deep skillet over medium-high heat. Add bacon. Brown and crisp bacon, 5 minutes, remove with a slotted spoon to paper towels and drain excess fat — you want crumbly goodness. In the skillet,drain excess fat and leave just enough to coat the bottom of the skillet. Add beef and crumble it as it browns, 3 to 4 minutes. Add onions, garlic and stir into meat. Season the meat with pepper, hot sauce and Worcestershire. Add 1/2 cup beer and deglaze the pan. Scrape up every bit of flavor off the bottom of the pot. Cook 5 to 6 minutes more then stir in tomatoes and tomato sauce.
Add hot spaghetti to meat and sauce, add 1/2 cup of the reserved pasta water and combine. Add more pasta water if the sauce is dry and not absorbing into the spaghetti. Adjust seasonings and serve up pasta in shallow bowls. Grate some cheese over the pasta and sprinkle with scallions. Garnish with crisp bacon
Picture of Cowboy Spaghetti by City Girl.