Sunday, January 13, 2013

Bacon Cheeseburger Pasta

Now, I don't normally like to brag.  However, I will make a very slight concession in this for two statements.  First, I have the most fantastic boyfriend a girl could ask for, and second, my bacon cheeseburger pasta is what Hamburger Helper dreams of being when it doodles on its notebook in class all day.  How do I know this?  One simple statement: best friend tested, boyfriend approved.  I have a very picky best friend when it comes to food.  So, when I run something across her radar that she not only likes, but she cooks herself later, I know I have am on to something.  Here we go:

Ingredients (for at least two servings of the dish)
-1/4 lb 90/10 sirloin ground beef (I highly suggest sirloin)
-3-4 strips of bacon, diced (and/or Hormel Real Bacon Pieces)
-1.5+ cups of pasta (I like penne for this, bow ties could be fun!)
-1/2 block of Colby Jack cheese, shredded (I really prefer 1/4th of the Tillamook Colby Jack blocks from SAM's, but use your favorite brand.  And as usual, no bagged pre-shredded plastic cheese junk!)
-At least a couple tablespoons of milk, more as needed
-Salt and pepper to taste

Drop your noodles in salted water and get them boiling.  I don't oil my water or anything like that when I have something that is directly going to go on them. The amount of noodles you should use depends on the ratio you want.  The one I stated above will give you a lot higher beef:noodle ratio than what most normal versions of this recipe probably would, so don't be afraid to increase it.  I happened to be in a carnivore mood when I made it. 

While you are cooking them to your desired done-ness (I don't time mine, much to the effect of driving my mom insane when we cook, but I taste them when they start to turn opaque and adjust the remaining couple of minutes as needed), heat a skillet and put in your ground sirloin and bacon pieces.  Add salt and pepper to taste, I suggest seasoning salt.  I did not drop my bacon right when I did the beef, and I wish I had.  It could easily have cooked that entire time and been just fine.  If you want, you can replace the bacon here with Hormel Real Bacon Pieces in the pasta later.  I make it both ways, and sometimes I combine them and use both, as I did in this one.

Drain your noodles when they are done, leave them in the strainer, and drain the beef/bacon over them.  Shake off any excess liquid, lower the heat on your burner and put the noodles/bacon/burger mix back on the stove on lower heat and add the cheese.  Start to mix it around, and when it begins melting add some milk and the bacon pieces if you are using Hormel.  You don't necessarily have to add milk, I have made it before and not done so, but by adding milk you get pasta in more of a cheesy sauce instead of just with melted cheese on it.  Taste your pasta and add more salt if necessary (make sure you taste a bite with bacon so that you don't over salt the dish).

If you don't want to use milk but still want it to be creamy, look to something such as sour cream for the answer.  It is really good in mac and cheese, and would work here in this dish as well.  I have a hard time getting through a jug of milk, and a very easy time going through sour cream, so you can see why I use what I do. 

You could barbecue the burger or add a little ketchup while you are cooking it for a completely different flavor profile.  I love to deconstruct things and make them something else (chicken soft tacos in a chicken tortilla soup, for example) so consider this pasta just a deconstructed burger.  Like tomato on your burger? Add in diced tomato.  Like a different cheese? Mix and match or switch it out completely with something else. 

That isn't pre-shredded plastic cheese.  Or Velveeta.  Real cheese only for anything involving sirloin.


To me, buying Hamburger Helper is paying extra to buy a box of things you have better quality versions of already in your home.  You probably have noodles.  You most likely have cheese that is not a creepy powdered form.  You have salt and pepper.  You should buy seasoning salt if you don't have it.  You have milk.  And you would have had to buy the beef anyway.  So as always, my suggestion is do it yourself and do it better.

Happy crafting!

Pin It Now!

No comments:

Post a Comment