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.
This definitely looks better than any baked spaghetti I’ve had in a restaurant!
I’ve never thought of baking spaghetti with Bolognese Sauce before! This is so clever and your recipe is so easy and sooooo yummy!!!!! It’s bound to be on my menu next week! Can’t wait!
The only drawback: I don’t have a smoker, so I have to use shop bought bacon. :((
Thanks for the recipe! ?
All the best, Simone
Thank you for the kind words. I hope you enjoy it as much as I do. As for not having a smoker, you could always get one 🙂
Oh yum! If that isn’t comfort food, I don’t know what is! Baked pasta is always delicious and the homemade sauce has to make it that much better!
Thanks, Carlee. I am really into all kinds of pasta (it isn’t hard to believe looking at my substantial width). She Who Must Be Obeyed and I eat it often now that the cold weather is here in the mountains.
The Old Fat Guy