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Thursday, June 10, 2010

Barbecued Spaghetti

 I was skeptical the first time I made this. When Neely's Bar-Be-Que Restaurant in Memphis put this particular dish on their menu, they rocked the BBQ world.  It sounds very strange, but it is utterly delicious.
I usually make it when I have some barbecued leftovers hanging around.  It is so simple to make.  Embarassingly simple.
The Neely's  make their own barbecue sauce.  Too much work for me.  If anyone is so inclined, the recipe can be found at  I use whatever bottled sauce I have on hand.
Recently, I decided to use leftover barbecued baby back ribs and slow braised pork chops that I had in the freezer. I pulled  the rib meat off the bones and chopped the pork  into bite sized pieces.
After thinly slicing Vidalia onions, green bell peppers, grape tomatoes, and garlic, I sauteed them in a well oiled screaming hot cast iron skillet until tender and caralmelized.  I added tomato suace, Sweet Baby Ray's Barbecue sauce, and the reserved  meat to combine and cook through.

While the sauce simmered on a gentle flame, I boiled a pound of spaghetti in heavily salted water until it was al dente and  tossed it with the sauce.

 Done. Barbecued Spaghetti.

The flavor was very surprising.  It was not like eating a plate of spaghetti with gloppy barbecue sauce poured over the top. It was much more subtle. The pasta absorbed the sauce allowing  its soft al dente snap to tone down the harshness of the sweet vinegary barbecue bath. The bursting halved tomatoes, crunching wet peppers, and melted sweet onions gave the dish more character, texture, and depth.

A shower of snipped chives with shavings of Vermont Sharp White Cheddar cheese finished it off perfectly.

Haute' Cuisine?  Hell, no.  The next time leftovers are just hanging around taking up space in the freezer and refrigerator, throw this together and surprise yourself.

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