Monday, April 18, 2011

Baked Spaghetti

I had a craving for cheese, pasta, and tomato sauce. Who doesn't? I mean, really?? I didn't help that I came across this post from Jessica at How Sweet It Is. I have made Baked Ziti countless times, but never even tasted Baked Spaghetti. I adapted the recipe slightly. I would highly recommend using fresh mozzarella instead of the pre-shredded version. It is not that much more expensive, and tastes so much better. The only downside is that it doesn't come in low fat. :) Same goes for parmesan. Buy a block, don't use the Kraft version-cheese that doesn't have to be refrigerated weirds me out (think Velveeta, Cheese Whiz, etc)!

I went a bit heavy on the cheese. You could use less to lighten this up. 

3/4 pound whole wheat spaghetti
1/2 onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 pound lean ground beef
salt and pepper, to taste
10-12 fresh basil leaves, chopped
2 cups pasta sauce
8 oz fresh mozzarella cheese, shredded
1/2 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese

And what pasta dish is complete without garlic bread?

Garlic Bread:
1/2 baguette, split lengthwise
3 tablespoons butter, softened
3 cloves garlic, minced

350 oven.
Boil and drain spaghetti.

Add olive oil to skillet over medium heat. Cook onions until soft (about 5-6 min), add garlic, cook another minute. 

Add ground beef, cool until no longer pink. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Add basil, cook until wilted.

Add cooked spaghetti and 1 cup sauce, stir to combine.

Spray 13x9 pan with cooking spray. Add 1/2 spaghetti mixture, top with 1/2 cup sauce and 1/2 cheese. 

Repeat, topping with remaining cheese.

Bake 20 minutes, until cheese is lightly browned. 

For garlic bread: Combine butter and garlic. Schmear over bread. set oven to broil, broil 2-3 minutes until browned.

Yum! This was really very good, and the leftovers are amazing!

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