Well Fed, Flat Broke: Bacon Spaghetti


So, Tuesday. Here we are again, having survived Monday but with so little left to give to anyone but Don Draper or anything but season 3 of Mad Men (DO NOT TELL ME ANYTHING, I AM SO BEHIND). Tuesday is the weekday equivalent of the day after the day after the gym it hurts, and yet somehow you never see it coming.

So, spaghetti. Only, this is Tuesday, and therefore not the night for careful sauce-making or slowly building deep flavour.

This is ”¦ blender night. This is ”¦ ”is that bacon?” night. This is ”¦ well, this is pretty damn good, even if it seems a little trashy.

It is a little trashy, and that’s kind of the point. Bacon spaghetti looks just like normal spaghetti except that it’s hiding bacon. You can add herbs if you want, but if you don’t ”¦ meh. It goes well with cold beer, and it’s the kind of dish your small person or small people will eat without even negotiating the number of bites they’ll be required to take before they’re done.

Recipe perks: quick cooking; no soy or nuts, dairy easily omitted, easily made gluten-free by subbing gluten-free pasta; kid-friendly; full of bacon. Serves four.


6 slices of bacon, roughly chopped
1 onion, roughly chopped
6 garlic cloves, smashed

1 x 28 oz. can whole tomatoes
¼ cup grated parmesan cheese, plus extra for garnish
Salt and pepper, to taste

1 x 14 oz. package whole grain spaghetti
Bring a pot of salted water to a boil. Add pasta.

Meanwhile, cook bacon in a large pan over medium-high heat until fat begins to render; add onion and garlic cloves. Stir until bacon cooks and onions begin to brown, about three minutes.


Using a slotted spoon, scoop bacon, onion and garlic into a blender. Drain off accumulated fat in pan, but do not rinse or wipe it clean. Add the tomatoes to the blender, working in batches if your blender’s on the small side. Blend the mixture until smooth. Add the blended mixture back to the pan, and return it to the heat. Taste it, adjusting with salt and pepper as needed.


If you are using whole wheat spaghetti, now is the point at which you would drain your pasta and stir it into the sauce; reserve half a cup of the pasta water in case you need to thin the sauce. If you’re using a variety of pasta that takes more or less than about 12 minutes to cook to al dente, cook until it’s about half-done.


Pour the drained pasta into the sauce and cook it, stirring frequently to prevent sticking, until sauce has partly been absorbed and noodles are cooked to your satisfaction, an additional three to five minutes (depending on the pasta you’re using and its cooking time). Garnish with additional cheese, and chopped fresh herbs if you’re feeling fancy. No pressure if you’re not.

Emily Wight is a working mom, author, and the blogger behind Well Fed, Flat Broke (wellfedflatbroke.com). Her cookbook, ”Well fed, flat broke: Recipes for modest budgets & messy kitchens,” from Arsenal Pulp Press is available in stores and online. She is tired. 

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