Guest Post! Cowboy Spaghetti

In my first Guest Post I found it necessary for it to be from a good friend of mine, Erica, who is also learning to navigate her way through the kitchen. I haven't made this dish yet, but I will definitely add it to my list of must trys! Erica just launched a blog of her own, A Tale of Two in the City, and I urge you all to check it out. Thanks for the guest post Erica!

Rachel and I go way back...aka college years :) I am a huge fan of her blog and kept telling her how I envy her ability to get out there and cook! She tells me all I have to do is start.  I’ve been married for about 6 months and really haven’t used any of our new gadgets or cookware. So my friend Lindsay lent me her Rachael Ray Express Lane Meals to help me along. This recipe seemed fairly easy and to be honest, I picked it because it didn’t scare me.

I learned a lot with this recipe. First, I have never cooked with garlic before. I had to watch a YouTube video on how to chop garlic! Ha. I also didn’t know what scallions were. Turns out they are just green onions. The scallions were for garnish, so I didn’t miss out on much. Also, I learned that I should really read the whole recipe (not just the ingredients) before heading to the grocery store. The recipe called for 8 ounce of sharp cheddar cheese. And the directions say to grate it over the finished product...well I just got shredded cheese from the dairy aisle - woops! All in all, it was great dish and we’ll be having it again.

Cowboy Spaghetti
Serves: 4-6 (with leftovers) 
Cook time according to Rachael: 30 minutes
Cook time according to Erica: 45 minutes 
How hard was this for Erica to make? ....harder than it should have been.

1lb spaghetti (too much, could cut in half)
1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
3 slices smokey bacon, chopped
1lb ground sirloin (I used ground turkey)
1 medium onion, chopped
3-4 garlic cloves, chopped
2 tsp hot sauce
1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
1 14oz can chopped or crushed tomatoes
1 8oz can tomato sauce
8oz sharp cheddar cheese
4 scallions, chopped (I nixed these)
salt & pepper to taste

Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Salt the water and add the spaghetti. Cook the pasta to al dente (which is something I had to Google as well). Drain the spaghetti. Leave a little water so the noodles don't stick to each other. Set aside.

Heat a deep skillet over medium-high heat. Add the EVOO and bacon. Brown and crisp the bacon for 5minutes (I added a couple minutes here), then remove with a slotted spoon to a paper-towel-lined plate.

Drain of a little excess fat from the skillet if necessary, leaving just enough to coat the bottom. Add the beef and crumble it as it browns, 3 to 4 minutes (again, added more time here). Add the onions and garlic and stir into the meat. Season the meat with salt and pepper, hot sauce and Worcestershire.

Cook for 5-6 minutes more, then stir in the tomatoes and tomato sauce. (Rachael never said when to put the bacon back into the mix or even to put over the top when finshed, so I put the bacon back in here so it can get mixed in with the sauce).

Add the hot spaghetti to the meat and sauce and combine. Adjust the seasonings and serve up the pasta in a shallow bowls. Grate some cheese over the pasta and sprinkle with the scallions.

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