Two Men, Two Pits and a Blog

Smoked Philly Spaghetti and Garlic Bread

How to bring your spaghetti to the next level with a little smoke and cream cheese

So it was, under beautiful blue skies and amber shafts of light, that the last snow flake melted out by the pit today. And all the ice on the IMG_21081pond dissolved over the last few days, the last of it, today, into a cold, watery soup. The ducks dutifully reveled, of course,  swimming to and fro in the pond’s lush water ways, whilst the resident tweety birds darted fiercely about the naked alders, all of which eagerly await the bounty of spring. Have we Minnesotans finally made it around the dark side of moon? Is this light yonder we see spanning into the evening hours really meant for us? Is it possible the barnacle-like grip of ice upon this fair land has at last and finally relinquished? Oh I believe so. For I have seen my shadow on steely blades of semi-green grass, and heard the call of the American Robin for to greet the morning hours. Spring has arrived. And all the northern pit keepers rejoice.

To usher in the milder season, and on the pit today, something a little different. Leastwise amid the grilling circuits it is. Smoked spaghetti meat sauce with a Philly twist. If you’re not a’feared of carbohydrates, you’re going to fancy this one. So grab yourself a manly beverage and I’ll meet you out by the pit.



Over a lovely bed of mature coals, in the old black iron pan, we browned up the ground beef as per the usual tactics to making spaghetti sauce. I know what some of you new to this site may be thinking. Why the heck is he doing this on the grill? To which I must reply, why wouldn’t I! This is a BBQ blog, and by golly, this is what we do! And let it be said, because it’s true, anything you can do on the kitchen range can not only be equaled out on a good pit, but in many cases improved upon, courtesy of the smokey goodness inherent there. Not to mention, it’s just plain beautiful outside tonight. You gotta cook supper regardless, so why not do it some place pretty.


Nothing quite so fine as the fresh spring breeze mingling with the aromas of sizzling beef. After a fashion, after it was cooked brown and drained, we added the sauce. Now you can use what ever sauce makes you happy. Make it home-made if you please, or do like we did, and use a jar of something we picked up at the grocer. It’s all good on the pit. So we pulled the pan to the cool side of the grill, opposite the hot coals, and then added a chunk or two of apple wood to the fire for to secure smokey custody of this classic supper time dish. Yes, smoke is the first of two secret ingredients here, that will set this spaghetti dinner apart from any you’ve ever had. If you’ve never done your meat sauce up on the grill this way, well, you’re missing something out of your grilling career. Like the sunbeams that which slant upon the green grass, it is worth our attention, our time, for to articulate a tasty path towards a higher culinary ideal, patron to the pit.


Whilst the meat sauce simmers in turn, we prepped some French bread with a simple:

 garlic butter

(1 Clove finely chopped and 1/3 cup of softened butter)

Wrapped the loaf in foil, and placed it likewise, opposite the hot coals. Oh yes!!!



Put the lid on, establish a draft, and thus engage in some lengthy and protracted smoke watching. This is the portion of the cook where we grill jockeys are in our element. Or more truthfully, in our man chairs, pit-side, with a lovely beverage in hand. Legs perhaps crossed like a gentleman of leisure, hat tipped just so, to thwart the low hanging sun, and scads of sweet time in which to just sit there and do nothing at all. To watch the clouds idle in a pastel sky, and the song birds yonder warming up their little throats for to sing of their glories anew. To observe the gentle wake and science of duck propulsion on the pond. Or, if need be, even to close our eyes, and doze peacefully amid the aromatic tendrils of rising wood smoke. Glory!

Speaking of, every 5 minute or so, lift the lid and stir the meat sauce, for to infuse more of that patented smokey goodness into it. Also flip the bread over when you think of it, for even baking, and be mindful of your pit master instincts.

Lastly, and before we declared this meal complete, we added the final, secret ingredient to the meat sauce. At my bride’s suggestion, we added 1/4 cup of Philadelphia Cream Cheese. Indeed, I was hesitant, but adventurous this night. She saw some one do it on the TV, and thought it would be tasty. So, and with the common sense of a gestating lemming, I  gave it go. Stirring the glob of cheesy, white goo, into the beautiful meat sauce until it melted kindly away. The result hence escorting the smokey sauce unto yet another level seldom found in conventional spaghetti sauce. The result – a much creamier, full-bodied meat sauce that which sported a quaint smokey tint. Oh man!

Once the cream cheese is diffused to your specifications, plate up and commence with what you do best!

cream cheese spaghetti

Smoked Philly Spaghetti and Garlic Bread. If you’re looking for a little something different for your next BBQ,  definitely give this one a try. Man!



44 responses

  1. looks good!

    April 11, 2014 at 9:16 pm

  2. boomapablo

    I love the idea of this, beats cooking inside any day of the week

    April 11, 2014 at 10:48 pm

    • Ah yes, the joy of outdoor cooking can and should be had on a great many dish. If you can do it on the stove top, try it next on the grill. It’ll probably taste even better.

      April 12, 2014 at 9:24 am

  3. NOW I am hungry! This looks so good!

    April 12, 2014 at 12:48 am

    • We could deliver…But South Africa is a little out of our neighborhood. Maybe if you pay for the gas!

      April 12, 2014 at 9:25 am

      • My son wants to go drive harvesters in Minnesota next year… if he does I am going to visit him there… so I will collect!

        April 12, 2014 at 10:12 am

  4. laurie27wsmith

    You had me at garlic bread. Sounds like another great fest. I love, ‘a’feared of carbohydrates.’ 🙂

    April 12, 2014 at 2:53 am

    • Thanks mate. My spell check actually wouldn’t accept the word a’feared. So I taught it something new.

      April 12, 2014 at 9:21 am

      • laurie27wsmith

        You sure did. Threaten to smoke it a little next time if it balks at any new words. 🙂

        April 13, 2014 at 3:26 pm

  5. Effing love it!!

    April 12, 2014 at 4:47 am

  6. And me, not eating carbs. 😦

    April 12, 2014 at 4:51 am

  7. Liberty of Thinking

    My gosh, I’m not a spaghetti fan (have mercy…☺), but this is awesome, wow!

    April 12, 2014 at 5:34 am

    • Good day, old boy! Pleased to see you poke your head up here! Hows things out in your fair land? Transylvania was it?

      Yes a good grill and proper technique can be a real game changer for some food groups. Can’t believe you don’t fancy spaghetti!

      Take care

      April 12, 2014 at 9:12 am

      • Liberty of Thinking

        My fair land is so far away from me…
        I’m in HM’s UK☺
        Well, you see, spaghetti and me, is like a no strings attached relationship. Delightful sometimes, but no “until death shall part us” commitment.
        Truth is I’m a snob when it comes to food. And Italian food is by far the easiest to ruin. For example, I ate my first “Italian” meatballs in a fairly good restaurant in Las Vegas. Well, they were so horrible, that I thought that’s what they should be, which kept me away from meatballs until I had some basic stuff made of Scotch beef over here, with some decent Bolognaise sauce and good spaghetti. I asked them over and over for a week☺

        April 12, 2014 at 9:27 am

  8. Our philosophy here at the Dodd homestead is, “Why cook it inside, when you can cook it outside and drive your neighbors crazy with jealously?”

    April 12, 2014 at 6:04 am

    • Haha, there ya go, Mr.Dodd! Nothing like seeing the neighbors sniffing over the fence, sporting long faces and copious pools of drool. Yeah, that’s about how it goes.

      April 12, 2014 at 9:14 am

  9. Love it, my Mom was the pit master growing up and being Italian we loved and had pasta often even when traveling or camping and Mom made the whole Italian feast on the grill often. I love it, the smoky flavor, delicious. This brought back such great childhood memories.

    April 12, 2014 at 7:04 am

    • No kidding?! Cool story, thanks for sharing that. Your mom sounds most cool! And a high privilege in a camp site. Outstanding.

      Take care in out there in Brooklyn.

      April 12, 2014 at 9:17 am

  10. Somewhere, an Italian grandmother is rolling her eyes… Looks good. I may have to give that a shot. Maybe with some fire roasted tomatoes.

    April 12, 2014 at 7:12 am

    • Excellent idea about the tomatoes. Good call, Bill.

      Sorry Gramma!

      April 12, 2014 at 9:19 am

  11. That sounds yummy. I’m going to have to try that.

    April 12, 2014 at 1:27 pm

  12. Okay, now I have seen it all…A total red-neck BBQ’er floatingt through the canals of Venice while BBQing Atalian Food. I’m sorry. There is the chance you may be put on the hit-list of Atalian based mobsters.

    April 12, 2014 at 5:46 pm

    • Haha, quite the imagery you smithed there. Mercy! Ill be looking over my shoulder now!

      April 12, 2014 at 7:23 pm

      • Yep, and the next thing I should imagine is how to spell “Italian.”

        April 13, 2014 at 10:32 am

      • I liked how you spelled it!

        April 13, 2014 at 12:39 pm

  13. hmmm, sorry, but I’m a thinkin’ my American-Italian hubby won’t go for this recipe… but I would!

    April 13, 2014 at 11:20 am

    • Oh it was good. I was skeptical at first too, but good is good and this was that! Thanks Auntiedoni!

      April 13, 2014 at 12:38 pm

  14. Liz

    smoked spaghetti? why ever not? Looks delish. Yes, here’s to the last of the snow melt. Though it was a bit chilly at the bus stop today. Still…not complaining.

    Coming to you for more smoking advice, oh smoking and grilling Gurus: We’re hosting Easter and have set our sights on smoking a ham and ribs. We’ll have 17 guests, though nine will be 11 and under in age with the youngest at 3. Any thoughts on how much of each meat to buy for smoking? We found a fun recipe for a rum injected ham–do you do the injecting thing when you smoke? (sounds like we’re talking about something else, but we’re all Minnesotans here so will let it slide haha) And no big plans for the ribs outside of a rub (we have lots on hand)–any advice there?

    April 14, 2014 at 9:26 am

    • Outstanding Liz! Sounds like a smokey Easter is on the platter for you. We love to smoke a ham at Easter. Our family get-together’s are usually around the same size, and sometimes more, and one big old ham usually handles the job just fine. The addition of two or three racks of ribs, as per your plan, ought to seal the deal for sure as far as having enough meat for every one, unless your crew eat like pumas or something.

      I don’t think we ever have injected our hams. Pork butts, sure, but hams not that I can recall. The meat is so tightened up from the curing process I wonder how effective injecting it would even be. Even so, it surely won’t hurt anything, and who knows, maybe it’s a genius idea. I look forward to hearing your results on it. You could also just as easily transfer some of the injection solution into a tasty glaze as well. That would be good.

      For rib rub, I would go with a sweeter based rub to compliment the ham. Being children are also in high attendance around there, definitely err for more sweet than heat in the rib rub. I don’t know many 10 year olds who like the spicy stuff. You can even rub the ribs down in honey or brown sugar and butter and foiled them half way through the smoke or so. I dunno. And apple wood is a great all-around wood to use for smoking both meats, and any pork for that matter.


      April 14, 2014 at 10:15 am

  15. This looks incredible! How did you come up with this recipe?

    April 15, 2014 at 7:47 pm

  16. mdprincing

    I drooled on my desk again….never thought of kicking a sauce up with some CC, definately have to give it a go

    April 16, 2014 at 2:57 pm

    • I never would have thought of it either. My bride saw someone do it on tv. Turned out pretty tasty.

      Good to hear from you again! Been a while.

      Happy grilling this summer!

      April 16, 2014 at 5:37 pm

      • mdprincing

        I like you never stop grilling, one of the great joys in life and I can drink beer while I do it. I did acquire a smoker late last fall that I am eager to fire up. Now that the snow has melted and I can get to it again I am thinking about smoking some easter goodness this weekend.

        I have heard pastrami is smoked corned brisket which I have in the freezer.

        April 18, 2014 at 8:37 am

      • mdprincing

        thought you might enjoy this weekly newsletter I stumbled across.

        I was given a propane smoker from my brother and am starting to get smoker crazy, did a pork butt for Easter that was crazy good, so much that my daughter wants it for her confirmation meal, so this week I will be smoking three 8-10lb pork butts at once, wish me luck, patience and a never ending supply of beer

        May 1, 2014 at 7:56 am

      • Outstanding! Very cool. Yes, pork butts are a pit keeper’s friend. Very forgiving, affordable, plentiful meat well suited to feed the masses. And delicious too.

        Thanks for the link!

        May 1, 2014 at 8:39 am

      • mdprincing

        what do you do with a chuck steak? Always wondered.

        June 16, 2014 at 1:24 pm

      • Chuck steak. I like to do things with that I wouldn’t want to waste a real steak on, such as: beef stroganoff, or chopped up in some baked beans, a poor mans fajita perhaps. Then there is beef stew or po boy sandwiches. All matter of things really. I don’t know, what would you do with a chuck steak, given time and inclination?

        June 16, 2014 at 3:36 pm

      • mdprincing

        kind of on the same path. I typically make a roast or barbacoa and shred it.

        June 17, 2014 at 9:47 am

  17. looks yummy 🙂

    April 17, 2014 at 3:14 am

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