How many ways can you serve pasta? How many ways can you serve burgers? Countless. You can also serve them together, one on top of the other. Cook the pasta, toss with your favorite sauce, twirl onto a pasta bowl, top with a nicely charred cheese-topped burger and arrange some buttered toast on the side. It’s so, so good.
And just how did that combination come to be? I wanted burgers for lunch but we didn’t have buns. I wondered how the burgers would look good with just sliced loaf bread and I thought, well… why not combine the burgers with a good pasta dish?
It’s not as if topping pasta with meat is a new concept. That’s what pasta with meatballs is all about. And then there’s chicken parmigiana which goes on top of pasta (I have a pork version). So, why not burgers?
Comfort food de luxe: pasta topped with cheeseburger
- 120 grams ground meat (beef, pork, chicken or turkey will all work
- 30 grams finely chopped bacon
- 2 tablespoons finely chopped onion
- 1 clove garlic grated
- 2 generous pinches salt
- 1 generous pinch ground black pepper
- 1/4 cup panko (Japanese bread crumbs)*
- 80 grams pasta cooked al dente
- pasta sauce **
- buttered bread slices to serve
- cheese slices to garnish
- chopped parsley to garnish
Mix together the ground beef, bacon, chopped onion, grated garlicm salt, pepper and panko. Form into two patties. Yes, they will be rather large patties. If you have time, chill the patties for 30 minutes (read why).
Grill the burgers. Depending on how thick they are, it will take about two to three minutes per side over very high heat (see tips).
While the burgers grill, reheat the pasta sauce if it isn’t hot anymore. Toss with the pasta. Divide between two pasta bowls and keep warm.
When you flip the burgers, throw the buttered bread slices on the grill too. The bread will toast faster than the burgers so as soon as they are ready, remove them from the heat and arrange on the bowls beside the pasta.
When the burgers are almost done, top them with cheese and continue grilling for about 30 seconds or just until the cheese melts.
Using a spatula, lift the burgers off the grill and place on top of the pasta. Sprinkle with parsley. Serve.
*You can use regular bread crumbs but make sure it isn’t too sweet.
*I recommend tomato based as I’m not sure if this combo will work with white sauce.