Friday, February 17, 2012

Pasta with Bacon and Beef Sauce

I made this recipe the other night and couldn't have been more excited. I found it while I was watching a Rachael Ray episode the other day. I was literally salivating while watching this meal come together. It was tasty, but it wasn't fantastic. My traditional spaghetti sauce and the sauce on the baked potatoes with arugula, sausage and mascarpone are both better than this meal. That's not exactly a ringing endorsement I know, but I wanted to share my cooking endeavors good, bad and in between.

Spaghetti with Bacon and Beef Sauce
recipe from here

About 2 tablespoons EVOO
4 ounces smoky bacon, chopped
1 pound ground sirloin
3 to 4 cloves garlic, chopped
2 fresh bay leaves
1 Fresno chile pepper, finely chopped
1 onion, finely chopped
Pinch ground cloves
Salt and freshly ground pepper
1/2 cup dry red wine
1 cup beef stock
1 tablespoon tomato paste
One 14-ounce can Italian crushed tomatoes
1 pound spaghetti
Grated pecorino, for serving
Chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley, for garnish

 I started by heating up the olive oil and then added the chopped bacon (I used turkey bacon as usual). At this point, I also brought a pot of water to boil for the pasta.
 When the bacon was nice and crispy, I removed it from the pot and put it aside on a plate. Then I added the beef and cooked it until it was brown and crumbled.
Next, I added the garlic, onion, bay leaves, salt, pepper and nutmeg. I left the chile peppers out of course, because I am a major spicy weakness.
 When the onions were tender, I added the wine, tomato paste and beef stock. Then I poured in the tomatoes and added the bacon. I let the sauce simmer for about five minutes until thickened.
I served the pasta with the sauce on top and sprinkle of fresh Parmesan cheese. A few notes: the meal would have been better had I added the pasta to the sauce and let simmer for a few minutes. The sauce was better when it thickened up a bit and the noodles absorbed some of the juices. It also needed a touch of salt at the end. Finally: the leftovers were actually better than the original!


  1. I should have known that this dish would be less-than-satisfying as soon as Rachael Ray's name came up, that despicable strumpet. I'm also surprised that you violated the cardinal rule of always finishing pasta in the sauce before serving. Still, I can't fault you (or anyone) for trying a sauce (or anything) that has bacon in it. Chances of failure are minimal where bacon is involved.

  2. I actually think a lot of her recipes are really good- even if her voice isn't for anyone. But it's pasta and beef and bacon. How could it not be amazing? As for not finishing the pasta in the sauce, I was starving and cut corners. *Bad chef* (as I scold myself).


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