When the weather’s too chilly to grill, I whip up a big pot of this cheesy pasta. Believe it or not, it tastes just like a bacon cheeseburger, and it’s much easier for my young children to enjoy.
8 bacon strips, chopped
2 pounds ground beef
1/2 large red onion, chopped
12 ounces uncooked spiral pasta
4 cups chicken broth
2 cans (15 ounces each) crushed tomatoes
1 can (8 ounces) tomato sauce
1 cup water
1/4 cup ketchup
3 tablespoons prepared mustard
2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
2 cups shredded cheddar cheese, divided
1/3 cup chopped dill pickle
Optional: Chopped tomatoes, shredded lettuce, sliced pickles and sliced red onion
In a 6-quart stockpot, cook bacon over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until crisp, 6-8 minutes. Remove with a slotted spoon; drain on paper towels. Discard drippings.
In the same pot, cook ground beef and onion over medium heat until meat is no longer pink, 6-8 minutes; crumble meat; drain. Add the next 10 ingredients; bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer, covered, until pasta is al dente, stirring occasionally, about 10 minutes.
Stir in 1 cup cheese, pickle and bacon; cook and stir until cheese is melted. Serve with remaining cheese and, if desired, tomatoes, lettuce, pickles and red onions.
Take the extra time and shred cheese from a block for this recipe; it will stir in with a smoother texture than pre-shredded cheese.
Use Dijon mustard to give this dish a little bit of a “grown-up” taste.