BACON CHEESEBURGER RIGATONI – Baked “cheeseburger” rigatoni pasta with a tangy barbecue sauce, cheddar cheese, bacon, pickles and tomatoes. It’s a little bit comfort food and a little bit rock ‘n’ roll.
This will not only liven up the routine of pasta night but burger night too. I had my doubts about combining these two favorites of mine into one. . . I never thought of barbecue sauce and pasta as belonging together.
I was wrong. All the things I love in a good burger work with pasta too, including pickles. All this does is trade one carb for another. In a deconstructed kind of way.
Which leads me to confession time. Up until a year ago I hated pickles on my burgers.Until one day when a pickle snuck itself into a burger I was eating out. It was life-changing. As of today I love the combination and can’t imagine eating a burger without them.
Their crisp, briny bite is an unlooked-for but nice surprise to help bring in some of those burger associated flavors. The sauce isn’t pure barbecue but a hybrid including tomato sauce and a dash of red wine vinegar.
You can find the diced pickles, tomatoes and cheddar inside the casserole and decorating the top along with salty, crumbled bacon.
Making this halfway pretty as far as man-food goes.
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1/2 cup diced onion
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- coarse salt and fresh ground pepper
- 1 pound ground beef
- 1 + 1/2 cups tomato sauce
- 3/4 cup barbecue sauce
- 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
- 1/2 cup diced pickles
- 1 diced tomato, seeds removed
- 8 ounces rigatoni
- 1 cup shredded smoked or sharp cheddar cheese
- 3 slices bacon, cooked crisp and crumbled
- In a large skillet heat oil over medium - low heat and add the onion, garlic and a pinch or two of salt and pepper, cook until onion are translucent.
- Turn heat up to medium and add ground beef, season it with salt and pepper and break it apart as it cooks.
- Meanwhile cook rigatoni according to package directions in plenty of salted water to al dente.
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. and grease a 9 x 13-inch casserole pan.
- When the ground beef is cooked through remove from heat. Drain off the grease.
- Stir in both sauces, the vinegar, 1/2 the pickles, 1/2 the tomatoes, the pasta and 3/4 cup of the cheese.
- Spoon the mixture into the casserole pan and sprinkle the top with the remaining cheese, pickles and tomatoes.
- Bake until bubbly 20 - 25 minutes. To serve garnish the top with the crumbled bacon.
Nutrition Information:Serving Size: 1 grams
Amount Per Serving: Unsaturated Fat: 0g
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