Metro-East Living

Recipe of the Day: Cowboy Spaghetti Bake


1 pound uncooked spaghetti

Olive oil

2 slices bacon, chopped

1 onion, diced

4 jalapeño chiles, diced

1 pound lean ground beef

1 tablespoon chili powder

Dash salt

1 can (28 ounces) fire-roasted crushed tomatoes

1/2 cup shredded Cheddar cheese (2 ounces)

1/4 cup sliced green onions (4 medium)

1/4 cup pickled jalapeño chiles

Heat large stockpot of water to boiling. Once water is boiling vigorously, add generous dash of salt and the spaghetti. Cook about 3 minutes less than cooking time stated on box. Drain; return to stockpot. Toss spaghetti with a drizzle of olive oil; set aside.

Heat oven to 375 degrees. Lightly spray 13-by-9-inch (3-quart) glass baking dish with cooking spray.

In deep 10-inch skillet, cook bacon over medium-high heat until crisp. Using slotted spoon, remove bacon from skillet; drain on paper towel-lined plate. Set bacon aside.

Pour off all but 2 teaspoons bacon drippings from skillet. Add onion and diced chiles to drippings; sauté over medium heat about 2 minutes. Add beef; cook 8 to 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until browned and thoroughly cooked. Add chili powder and dash salt; stir to combine. Stir in tomatoes. Heat to a simmer. Taste sauce for salt; add more if needed. Cover; simmer 15 minutes longer. Remove from heat.

Add sauce to spaghetti in stockpot; toss. Spread in baking dish. Top with cheese, green onions, pickled chiles and reserved bacon.

Bake 15 to 20 minutes or until cheese is melted and bubbly. Makes 8 servings.