Cowboy Spaghetti

Cowboy Spaghetti for Dad


Cowboy Spaghetti

Dudes, my dad is awesome! He showed me the stars, took me on hikes, made me pancakes, and gave me rides on his motorcycle. He watched me dance, read my bad poetry and let me cry on his shoulder. He gave me piggy back rides to bed for way longer than his back was probably happy about. He taught me that it’s totally okay to eat cake for breakfast. Best of all, he taught me to read which has been a precious gift. My dad has always been there for me and believed in me even when I didn’t believe in myself. I am so very lucky.

photo by Gareth Grindle
photo by Gareth Grindle

We live half an ocean apart, which is not the farthest away I’ve been. I wish I could make him a feast for Father’s Day. He deserves it. Alas, dinner will have to be virtual. He’ll forgive me.

Cowboy Spaghetti

Cowboy spaghetti is the dish my dad requested. I’ve made it for him before, and he loves it. At least I can share the recipe with the world so he can make it himself, or even better, get someone else to make it for him. It’s the least a daughter can do.

This stuff is perfect man food. Why? Two words: bacon and beer.

There’s also ground beef, cheddar cheese, and hot sauce for added awesome, but for me it’s the bacon that makes it magical. And since my dad loves beer, and he puts it in just about everything, I knew the first time I looked at this recipe that he’d love it. I’ve slightly adapted this old Rachael Ray recipe to make it more conducive to my vegetable loathing palate, but if you’re into chunky tomatoes just swap out the crushed tomatoes for something with more texture.

Cowboy Spaghetti

Make sure you have plenty of extra cold beer for your dad on Father’s Day. He’s worked hard your whole life to give you stuff you probably didn’t even appreciate. The least you can do is make him dinner and bring him a cold one. Let him put his feet up. Feed him with love and cowboy spaghetti. He deserves it.

Cowboy Spaghetti
Serves 4
Meaty, manly spaghetti with bacon and beer
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Total Time
30 min
Total Time
30 min
  1. 1 pound spaghetti
  2. salt
  3. 1 tablespoon olive oil
  4. 3 slices of bacon
  5. 1 pound ground beef
  6. 1/2 onion, diced
  7. 3 cloves garlic, minced
  8. black pepper
  9. 1 tablespoon hot sauce (or more if you're into that sort of thing)
  10. 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce (it's required that you read that line out loud)
  11. 1/2 cup beer
  12. 2 cups crushed tomatoes
  13. 1 cup tomato sauce
  14. 8 ounces shredded sharp cheddar
  15. 4 scallions, scissored
  1. Put a large pot of water over high heat to boil. Don't forget to put a lid on it, or it will take forever. When the water boils, add salt and spaghetti, stirring occasionally. My pasta cooked for 10 minutes. Check your package. Bite into a piece to see if it's done, or throw it against the refrigerator to see if it sticks. That's what my mom used to do.
  2. In the mean time, heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium high heat. Cut your bacon with scissors right into the pan. Cook to desired level of crispness (the correct answer is very crisp). Remove the bacon to a paper towel lined plate and pour off some of the fat, leaving enough to coat the pan.
  3. Add your ground beef to the pan to brown. Season with salt and pepper. Depending on how lean your beef is, you may want to drain the fat off before proceeding. I'm poor so I have to get ground chuck, which needs to be drained.
  4. Add onions and garlic to your ground beef and then season with hot sauce and Worcestershire. Add the beer and scrape up any bits that may be stuck to the bottom of the pan. Simmer for about 5 minutes.
  5. Stir in tomatoes and sauce. Bring everything back up to a simmer and check for seasonings. This is usually where I add more hot sauce.
  6. After you drain your pasta, put it back in the pot, then pour the sauce over the spaghetti and stir to combine.
  7. Top your bowl or plate of spaghetti with plenty of cheddar cheese, a sprinkling of crunchy bacon, and green onions. Serve it to your dad in an old recliner, and don't forget to bring the man a beer.
Adapted from Rachael Ray
Adapted from Rachael Ray
How to be Awesome on $20 a day
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