If you're in the mood for a casserole or a lasagna but don't have the right noodles, or if you'd prefer a new take on the dish, here's a real treat. Baked spaghetti mixes the layers of a lasagna with the somewhat sloppy fun of spaghetti. It's wonderfully kid friendly, yet grown up enough for company.
In order to really make this dish much closer to its lasagna counterpart, we added in some beaten eggs and Parmesan with the cooked noodles. This helped the noddles bind together so the dish can easily be cut into rectangles and served. For the meat we used ground sausage, though any combination of sausage and beef will work just fine. Keep reading below for this fantastic recipe...
- 16oz spaghetti (1 package)
- 1lbs sweet Italian sausage
- 1 medium onion, chopped
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
- 3 cups marinara sauce
- 1 1/2 cups water
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 tablespoon Italian seasoning
- 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
- 2 eggs beaten
- 1 cups ricotta cheese
- 3 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
- Set a large pot of water on the stove on high heat. Add about 2 tablespoons of salt to the water and stir.
- While the water is heating, break up the sausage into clumps in a large pan while cooking on medium heat. Slowly cook the sausage, continuing to break it up into smaller pieces with a wooden spoon. Cook until the sausage is heated through and not showing any pink. Remove the sausage from the pan with a slotted spoon and set aside. Drain the fat from the pan.
- Add the onion to the pan. Increase the heat to medium-high. Cook, stirring frequently, until the onions become translucent. Add the minced garlic and red pepper flakes. Cook for another minute.
- Add the sauce to the pan and 1 1/2 cups of water. Stir in the sausage. Add the Italian seasoning, bay leaves, and parsley. Bring to a simmer and reduce the heat to keep at a very low simmer. Cook for 10-15 minutes.
- While the sauce is cooking, add the pasta to the boiling water. Let the pasta cook at a high boil for 6-7 minutes, or until al dente. Drain the pasta and rinse with cold water.
- Place the pasta in a large glass bowl and toss with olive oil then the Parmesan cheese and 2 beaten eggs.
- Preheat the oven to 350F. Grease the inside of a 13"x9" casserole dish. Remove the bay leaves from the sauce. Spread 1 cup of the sauce over the bottom of the dish.
- Spread half the pasta evenly over the sauce. Cover with half the remaining sauce, then dot the sauce with all of the ricotta cheese. Sprinkle half of the mozzarella over the ricotta. Layer again with the remaining pasta, remaining sauce, then the remaining mozzarella.
- Cover with foil and bake for 40 minutes. Then remove the foil and bake an additional 20 minutes. Remove from the oven and let rest 10 minutes before serving.
Recipe adapted from Paula Deen