I ordered baked spaghetti at an Italian restaurant recently. It was spaghetti tossed with Bolognese sauce, some cheese sprinkled over the top and broiled. It was OK but I was sure I could do better. Here is my effort.
I started by making a meat sauce. You can skip this step and used jarred sauce, I guess. If you must. If you don’t want as good a meal. If you are incredibly lazy. I guess.
I chopped the vegetables and bacon. I used the trimmings from my homemade bacon. Store bought is fine for those of you who don’t make your own bacon (I am sorry for you). I measured all the spices and herbs. I grated the cheese and mixed them together.
I started by sauteing the bacon over medium heat in a Dutch oven, just until it started to rend fat. I added the peppers and onion and sauteed until the onions and peppers were soft, about 5 minutes.
I added the mushrooms and garlic and sauteed for two more minutes. Then I added the ground beef and sauteed it until it was cooked through, stirring to break it up.
I added the tomatoes, tomato paste, red wine, sugar and the seasonings. I brought it to a boil and then reduced the heat to simmer. I simmered it, covered, for an hour.
I put one third of the sauce in a 30 cm (12 in) by 20 cm (8 in) baking pan. I spread it over the bottom of the pan. I put half the cooked spaghetti over the sauce. I spread 1/3 of the cheese over the spaghetti. I put the second 1/3 of the sauce over the cheese.
I put the last of the spaghetti on the sauce, the second third of the cheese on the spaghetti and the last of the sauce over the cheese.
I put the casserole in a 350 F oven for 30 minutes.
Spread the last third of the cheese over the hot casserole and return to the oven.
Cook for 5 to 10 minutes to melt the cheese.
Let it sit for 5 minutes before serving.
We served it with garlic bread and steamed beans we had frozen from our garden.
This is absolutely terrific It is so good, I will be bragging about it. The spaghetti is just saucy enough and maintains a great texture. The cheese is just gooey enough. Kids would love this which might explain why I like it so much.
The Old Fat Guy
- 200 grams (7 ounces) spaghetti, cooked per package instructions
- 125 ml (1/2 cup) chopped bacon
- 150 ml (2/3 cup) onion, chopped
- 75 ml (1/3 cup) sweet pepper (green or red), chopped
- 150 ml (2/3 cup) mushrooms, chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
- 450 grams (1 pound) ground beef
- 15 ml (1 tbsp) dried parsley (or 50 ml (1/4 cup) chopped fresh parsley)
- 10 ml (2 tsp) Italian seasoning blend
- 5 ml (1 tsp) salt
- 10 ml (2 tsp) sugar
- 3 ml (1/2 tsp) fennel seed
- 3 ml (1/2 tsp) basil
- 3 ml (1/2 tsp) oregano
- 796 ml (28 oz) canned diced tomatoes
- 156 ml (5.5 oz) tomato paste
- 50 ml (1/4 cup) red wine
- 250 ml (1 cup) cheddar cheese, grated
- 250 ml (1 cup) mozzarella cheese, grated
- 250 ml (1 cup) Parmesan cheese, grated
- Saute bacon in a large pot or Dutch oven over medium heat, just until it starts to render fat.
- Add onion and peppers and saute for about 5 minutes, until getting soft.
- Add mushrooms and garlic. Saute for 2 more minutes.
- Add ground beef and saute until cooked through, stirring to break the beef up.
- Add parsley, Italian seasoning blend, salt, sugar, fennel seed, basil, oregano, tomatoes, tomato paste and wine.
- Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer 1 hour.
- Put 1/3 of meat sauce in the bottom of a 12 by 8 inch casserole or baking dish and spread it over the bottom.
- Put 1/2 of the cooked spaghetti over the meat sauce.
- Mix the cheeses together and spread 1/3 of the cheeses over the spaghetti.
- Put the second 1/3 of the sauce over the cheeses.
- Put the second 1/2 of the cooked spaghetti over the cheeses.
- Put the second 1/3 of the cheeses over the spaghetti.
- Put the last 1/3 of the sauce over the cheese.
- Put the casserole in a 350 F oven for 30 minutes.
- Spread the last 1/3 of the cheese over the casserole.
- Bake the casserole for 5 to 10 minutes more to melt the cheese.
- Remove from the oven and let it sit for 5 minutes before serving.