Monday, January 21, 2013

Recipe Monday: Baked SPASAGNA!

Hubs and I have a sweet friend who just bought a house and I've been meaning to make him a housewarming dinner.  My go to "bringing over dinner" dish is my sister-in-law's baked spaghetti.  Because, let's be honest: its easy, delicious, and who doesn't love a good home cooked spaghetti?!

However, when I stumbled across this fancy versioned baked spaghetti (a friend posted a pic on Instagram, and I immediately asked she share the recipe) - I knew I had to try it out.  It combines all things great: a pseudo baked spaghetti, while adding in the creamy goodness of a lasagna. 
Hole-YYYY Toledo. Yes please! And I'll have seconds.

Now, I will caution you, this is not by any means a light meal - and my normal "you can eliminate the butter or save a few calories like this" techniques do not apply to this recipe.  It calls for A LOT MASSIVE quantities of cheese, but trust me - it's totally worth it. Another note - this recipe makes A LOT!  I had originally planned to make 2 small casseroles, 1 for dinner and the other for Mike - but I ended up being able to make 2 pretty good sized portions.  Did I hear someone say - CHEAT DAY! - why yes, yes I did.

So, here's the skinny ooey goodness... 

"Baked Spasagna"

Ingredients: (I tweaked these just a hair from the original recipe)

  • 24 oz spaghetti (I used angel hair, but that's just because that's our household preference, any thickness will do)
  • 32 oz mozzarella cheese, grated or shredded (YES - 2 lbs of CHEESE!)
  • 8 oz ricotta cheese
  • 8 oz sour cream
  • 1 1/4 cups half & half
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese - divided
  • 1 tsp oregano
  • 1 tsp basil
  • 1/2 tsp pepper
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp minced garlic (or a little more - it's whatever :)
  • 1 jar (26 oz spaghetti sauce) - this is what the recipe called for originally -- Hubs really likes saucy pasta so I knew better and added nearly 3/4 the jar of the big plastic Prego jars - I think those are like 64 oz)
  • 1 lb Italian sausage
  • 1 lb ground beef (here was another change I made - the original recipe called for only 1 lb Italian sausage or ground beef, but just like in my baked spaghetti we like meaty sauces - so I used a 1 lb of both)
  • 1/3 chopped onion - for meat sauce (again, an addition - I just feel I need onion anytime I brown beef)


Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Cook spaghetti according to package, drain. (LOTS of spaghetti and my big strainer was in the dishwasher - I was losing noodles left and right!)

In large bowl stir together sour cream, ricotta, half-and-half, mozzarella, oregano, basil, pepper, salt, garlic, and half the Parmesan. 

Add spaghetti and toss until well coated - seriously well coated. You won't have another chance to get flavor on each of those noodles!  Next, pour spaghetti mixture into a 9x13 pan lightly sprayed with cooking spray (as you can see, I was able to fill a 9x13 and a 9x6(ish) pan with EASE).  Cover dish(es) with aluminum foil and bake 30 minutes.

While pasta is baking, prepare meat sauce. Brown Italian sausage, ground beef, and onion (or whatever you decide to use) in skillet. Drain and return to skillet.  Add spaghetti sauce and simmer.

Remove pasta from oven. Cut into square and top with meat sauce.  Spread sauce evenly among all noodles. 

Top with remaining Parmesan cheese. DEVOUR!

And that's it folks: Baked Spasagna ... Enjoy!


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