Friday, June 4, 2010

BBQ Buffalo Pasta

About a year ago, I heard about combining spaghetti and bbq’d meat. My initial reaction was, well, picture me wrinkling my nose and shrugging one shoulder as if to say "eh". Even so, I’ve never stopped thinking about it. Yesterday, as I stood at my kitchen counter praying for divine menu guidance as to what to do with the ground buffalo before me, the thought of making a quick bbq came to mind. The only problem was that a) I didn’t have any buns, and b) I only had a mere 1.25 lbs of meat. That’s when I thought of at long last giving the bbq pasta plan a green light.
Oh, why did I wait so long? This was ridiculously easy to prepare, was on the table in just over 30 minutes, and was really very good. Even my picky eaters ate it, including my son who won’t eat sauce on his pasta ... ever. I served mine over gluten free rotini (spiral) pasta, but use whatever floats your boat. This meaty, thick, smokey sauce will hold it’s own quite nicely with a hearty pasta like rigatoni as well as a delicate one like angel hair. (Mmm ... angel hair!)

I used ground buffalo, but use whatever ground meat you’ve got (preferably grass fed). There is minimal shrinkage with buffalo (and I mean zip, zilcho shrinkage), so plan accordingly if you use ground beef. This fed five people.

1.25 lbs ground buffalo
Salt, Pepper, Seasoned salt
1 teaspoon dried minced onion (can substitute fresh minced onions)
1 teaspoon worchestershire sauce
2 Tablespoons brown sugar
Scant ¼ cup smoked paprika (the smokey flavor is essential here)
Generous ½ cup ketchup
Heaping tablespoon prepared yellow mustard
3 cups of your favorite spaghetti sauce (homemade if you’ve got it)
1 lb spiral pasta (I used gluten free. Use whatever you like best!)
Shredded cheddar cheese

Cook the pasta according to package directions. Meanwhile, season the ground buffalo with salt, pepper, seasoned salt, and dried onion. Brown in a nonstick dutch oven, breaking it up into small bits with a spoon as it cooks. There was no fat in the bottom to drain at all. If you use beef, drain the meat after browning and return to the pan. Sprinkle with the brown sugar and stir around to start carmelizing the meat, maybe 1-2 minutes at the most. Stir in the ketchup, mustard, and worchestershire sauce. Stir in the smoked paprika. Now add the spaghetti sauce. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and let simmer until it thickens up a bit ... about 10 minutes. Note that this is a really thick sauce. Taste and adjust seasoning if necessary.

Add the drained pasta to the meat mixture and stir to combine. Serve. Garnish each serving with a small handful of shredded cheddar cheese. Enjoy!

This was really very, very good. Quick and easy, too. The balance of meat to pasta was pleasing, and the smokey tanginess of the sauce held it’s own over the pasta without being overpowering. The cheese added a creamy component that I enjoyed. Ya know, this is a case where simple is best. While I wouldn’t balk at adding, let’s say, green pepper, it’s really not missed. You could, however, ramp up the spicy heat index according to your own tastes.

I imagine this would be incredible, too, if made with grilled BBQ pork that simmered all day. So ... do you think you’d give bbq pasta a try? You’ll be glad you did.


Cheryl said...

Wow, I have been afraid to mix the two as well, but it sure sounds good! I also pray for divine intervention at dinnertime, I thought I was the only one, LOL!

Pam said...

Well, of course it's good. I love pasta, I love barbeque. Logic would state that I'd love bbq pasta.

bellini valli said...

I remember the days when we use dot be able to get "beef-alo" in Alberta, a cross between a buffalo and cattle. I find buffalo to be very moist, and lean too.

Marjie said...

I love buffalo! Sadly, it doesn't really exist here. I know it has to be cooked slowly, over a very low heat, so it doesn't dry out.

And I have plenty of days when I don't have a clue as to what I'm going to cook. Don't we all?

And your son is in good company not liking sauce. My oldest doesn't like it, either, and I'm just not all that wild about sauce.

grace said...

oh, i could definitely handle this combo. spaghetti is just a vehicle for a meaty sauce and cheese anyway, and if said sauce just so happens to be barbecue-y, well, more the better. :)

Mickle in NZ said...

Buffalo very hard to get here, however I think Angus Beef is kinda close. Agree with slow cooking, and also add thea if using really lean meat please add some veg oil (Olive is my choice). Otherwise - another Yummo recipe that I can scale down to Mickle size.

Happily add that I shared the MOM Chicken recipe with my parents, and they really, really liked it too. So muhg flavout for just a little marmalade. Dad made it with some of his home made marmajam (as we call it) - Dad makes both orange and lime marmalade.

Extra special thanks, dear Paula, hope your 3 are enjoying the count down to Summer Holiday times

(3 months! - here school kids get 5 to 6 weeks max - with Christmas thrown into the start of it)

Linda said...

Gosh what a great idea....I'm trying it with leftover bar-b-qued roast!

Kevin said...

That cheesy pasta looks good! I really like all of that smoked paprika in it.

Pam said...

This looks delicious with the great blend of ingredients! Thanks!

Barb said...

My goodness this looks so amazing. I just read about a recipe for home made buffalo chicken fingers but this would combine my two favorites pasta and BBQ. Looks great! I think I would have to substitute beef though.

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Pam said...

I've never had buffalo but I hear it's wonderful. This pasta looks hearty and delicious!

Cathy said...

This looks fantastic, Paula. You've combined several of my favorite things, and the smoked paprika would give the sauce so much flavor. Looks delicious.

Jan said...

Super looking pasta, Paula. I keep seeing buffalo meat in the store, but have yet to try it. Now I'm inspired. Love to you and yours.

Lynda said...

This is a wonderful pasta meal Paula! I haven't tried combing pasta with BBQ yet, but now feel I havethe green light since your family enjoyed it so much. Thanks!

The Blonde Duck said...

I've been wanting to do this for awhile! Thanks for reminding me!

Amy B. said...

Very interesting, buffalo! But I'm not sure whether it's available here in Australia, if it is I'd sure try this one out! Thanks for sharing, I wanna share your recipe to my friends too in Foodista. If you don't mind adding the foodista widget for paprika at the end of your post. The widget will direct readers to this recipe, when in search of recipes with paprika in them.

Keep on posting! :-)

Robynn's Ravings said...

So the blog Grinch got you, too, huh?! Where DID they take all our templates? But nothing can stop your good food, Paula!

Cooking for Diabetes said...

This looks heavenly! My kids just love pasta and I bet this recipe will easily win them over. Thanks!

Mickle in NZ said...

New looks to your blog are sooo great - looking forward to a new post when all is okay, when you can,

Hope the Summer holiday time has been kind to you, dear Paula. Summer school holiday here is only 5-6 weeks. Super wellness thoughts for coming out the other side of 3 months, and sending you gentle love and many huggles,

Michelle and Zebbycat, xxx and purrrrumbling from us way down-under

Carla @ Gluten Free Recipe Box said...

The word "buffalo" caught my eye at first, but those photos look so good I could eat this page! I just discovered buffalo "Bison" (American type of buffalo). It's so much healthier than beef. BBQ anything sound wonderful! I'm allergic to tomatoes, but often make this type of dish for my hubby. He'll love eat it up! Thanks for sharing this recipe!

theUngourmet said...

I was on the hunt for a dinner idea. I think this recipe would be a sure winner at my house! ;)

buywowaccount said...

Thats brilliant idea, a bbq flavored pasta. Its a delectably saucy and flavorful, not to mention the smoked paprika. Mouth watering.

Ma What's 4 dinner said...

That looks delightful! New to your site. Love it here already. Can't wait to poke around some more.

Lots of yummy love,
Alex aka Ma What's For Dinner

Food Frenzy said...

I love buffalo chicken, but never had buffalo pasta. Looking forward to trying this.

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cajunlicious said...

I love bison, yum! Came across your wonderful blog and am a new follower!!!
- Jessica

jacobithegreat said...

bbq pasta gives me the same reaction you initially had... but I'd try it!

Lorlee said...

When I was growing up in Minnesota, we called something like this "hot dish" and it could be a combination of most anything.

Barbara said...

Wow, did that ever turn out great! I love the smokey paprika and the sauce just hangs beautifully on the pasta. The cheese doesn't hurt either.

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Estelle said...

Sounds tasty! I just might get rid of my BBQ in the form of spaghetti. lol

carla bianca said...

I love pasta. I'm always craving for it. But I've never tasted buffalo meat in it. I can't wait to have a bite.
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