To call this a traditional recipe in my family is an understatement. This was the weekly meal. It started even before I was born when my grandfather would eat it in front of the television while watching Gunsmoke on Saturday night. No one else was allowed to watch television at dinnertime except him and only for Gunsmoke. The pain of that injustice is felt by the family to this day. Then, as my mother grew up and I came into the world, Gunsmoke went off the air, and this became less of a formal Saturday night affair. It drifted around through the week and became a handy recipe for when mom didn't want to cook anything special or difficult. To this day, it is still one of my favorites and one of the few dishes I would consider recanting my vegetarianism for.

1 lb package spaghetti or vermicelli, cooked
1/2 lb bacon
1 small or medium bell pepper, chopped
1 small or medium onion, vidalia or yellow, chopped
1 15oz can tomato sauce
salt and pepper to taste

Chop bacon into small 1/2 inch bits and sauté over medium high heat. Stir and sauté in a large skillet until it just starts to turn crisp. Pour off most grease. Add bell pepper and onion and sauté until onion is translucent.

Add cooked spaghetti to skillet and blend with bacon mixture. Stir in tomato sauce. Simmer on low heat for 10 minutes. Salt and pepper to taste.

Serves 4.

Note: my family makes spanish rice with just about the same recipe, replacing minute rice for the spaghetti. Enjoy.

Update (6/21/2001)
I just tried using LightLife Smart Bacon™ instead of the dead pig variety and it works quite well. I had to add salt and fresh basil to give it more flavor, however. If you use a meat substitute, I recommend experimenting with different combinations of spices or else this is super-bland.

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