My husband claims that I watch a lot of what he terms “food television.” I may. I will say that I am a very discerning individual when it comes to this personality trait. My very most favorite “food television” experience was season 4 of “MasterChef” mainly due to the presence of Krissi Biasiello. I’ve watched it 11 times. Krissi is an instinctual cook. She is creative but not at the expense of appealing to the palate of most people who actually eat. This is rare.
I’m sharing a recipe that she has been gracious enough to share. I shall leave you in good hands. (You won’t need a helper.) Cheers!
ROTUND CHEF KRISSI BIASIELLO:
Wow. I really have way too much time on my hands. But that can be a good thing sometimes, because then I start creating dishes, like this little gem I’m about to throw down for you. I took two of life’s greatest pleasures — burgers and pasta — and morphed them into this delicious dinner treat.
You are welcome people. I mean, the sauce for this is insane. It literally tastes like a bacon cheeseburger. What can I say? I’m a genius. A mad, food-loving genius.
Bacon Cheeseburger Pasta
8 slices bacon, cooked and crumbled
1 lb. lean ground beef
1 red onion, diced
1 28 oz. can of diced tomatoes and juice
1 Tbsp. of Worcestershire sauce
1/4 cup of ketchup
1 Tbsp. dijon mustard
1 pound of penne pasta
1/4 cup of pasta water
6 oz. of Colby jack cheese, shredded
4 oz. of extra sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
3 green onions, chopped
Salt and pepper to taste
Bring a large pot of water to a boil. When boiling add a liberal amount of salt and penne. Cook until al dente while preparing the sauce mixture simultaneously.
In a large oven-safe skillet, cook bacon until crispy. Crumble and set aside.
Save about 4 Tbsp. of bacon grease. Saute onion until translucent. Add ground beef and brown.
Add Worcestershire sauce, ketchup and dijon mustard to beef mixture. Work through and then add in tomatoes with juice. Bring to boil and then reduce heat to low.
Drain pasta, reserving 1/4 cup of the startchy pasta water. Add pasta and pasta water to beef mixture, incorporating well.
Crumble six pieces of bacon. Add bacon, 3/4 of the cheese and 3/4 of the green onions to the beef mixture. Mix well. Add remaining bacon, cheese and onions to the top for garnish.
Broil on high until cheese is melty. (You can also pop this into an oven on 450 for a few minutes or just pop a lid on until the cheese melts — I prefer the broiler.)
Krissi Biasiello is a native of South Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Cooking since she was a little girl with her large Italian family, she decided to leave her paralegal job and shoot for the stars on Fox’s cooking competition show, “MasterChef.” She beat out 43,000 home cooks across America and came in fourth place. Under the scrutiny of Gordon Ramsay, Graham Elliot and Joe Bastianich, Krissi has made her mark in the culinary world. She now shares her recipes with all of you! Her rustic, homestyle take on everything will win you over.
To contact Krissi for appearances, in-home demonstrations, catering and more, you can find her at Rotund Chef on Facebook and Pinterest.
Sharon Little is a community contributor for the Kingsport Times News.