Yay! We passed our first month of blogging! I know it’s a little bit early to celebrate but we’ve put a lot of effort and heart into it so this feels like a little achievement for us. We had over 5000 visits and 7000 page views, from almost 100 countries. I don’t know if these are considered good numbers but I think it’s pretty amazing. Thank you to those who’ve been reading us. We really hope you enjoy our recipes because there is more coming! Just to tease you, next week we’ll do a special week dedicated to pumpkin to celebrate fall. So stay tuned!
Ok, now you probably want to hear about this beef & bacon baked pasta (I know, that’s a lot of B’s). It’s a classic baked pasta recipe. Pasta, tomato and meat sauce, cheese. It’s a great recipe for weekdays, even better if you have leftover tomato sauce or pasta. If you make everything from scratch, it will take about 30 minutes to prepare. And if you’re feeling a bit lazy (that’s alright), you can make a bigger batch and heat up the leftover the next days.
Here’s a few tips. I use Rotini pasta because it holds the sauce well. Penne or Farfalle is also a good choice. I first cook them until firm so they don’t end up too soft after baking. If you like your cheese a bit more brown, sort of like a crust, leave the dish in the oven for a little longer. If you prefer a more gooey runny cheese, remove it earlier. Finally, top with fresh basil before serving if you have some.
Nico’s wine pairing: For this hearty meat sauce, I would go for a smooth and fruity red with enough tannic structure. Since we’re talking about pasta, Italy comes to mind. Try a Sangiovese based wine like Chianti.
Beef & Bacon Baked Pasta
Serves 4 – 6
- 1 package (375g) rotini pasta
- 1 can (796ml ) crushed tomatoes
- 5 garlic cloves, mashed
- 2 tbsp italian seasoning
- 2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
- 2 tbsp worcestershire sauce
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 tbsp sugar
- pinch black pepper
- 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
- 1 medium onion, diced
- 6 strips low sodium bacon, diced
- 500g ground beef
- 2 cups mozzarella and cheddar cheese, shredded
- Cook pasta until firm. Run under cold water after it's done cooking, drain and set aside.
- Combine crushed tomatoes, garlic, vinegar, olive oil, salt, sugar, worcestershire sauce, black pepper, italian seasoning and cayenne pepper in a medium bowl. Set aside.
- Preheat oven to 400F.
- Heat up a pan on medium high heat and brown onions. Remove from pan when golden brown.
- Add bacon and cook for few minutes until slightly crispy. Add ground beef and cook until all the liquid has evaporated and slightly browned.
- Add onions and the sauce to the pan and cook for few minutes until bubbly.
- Taste and adjust seasoning. Stir pasta into the sauce.
- Transfer pasta into baking dish and top with cheese.
- Bake for 15-20 minutes, until the cheese starts to brown.
- Serve with basil on top.