Sunday, November 13, 2011


Baked Spaghetti is one of the dishes that was cooked often when I lived at home. I really don't like eating it the traditional way maybe because I tend to find pasta bland. This way the seasoning is cooked into the pasta. So if you're not a big spaghetti fan maybe you'll like it this way. If you're a big pasta fan maybe you'll like it this way too.

My recipe includes:

1 lb. pound of ground beef (I know people who prefer to use Italian Sausage).
Onion, bell pepper (red and green)
One package of Spaghetti seasoning mix
Three small cans of tomato sauce
One can of stewed tomatoes

Start your water to boil for the spaghetti. I usually add a little salt and garlic powder to the water. I've always thought it helped the water boil faster (smile), but even if it doesn't it smells good.

Fry your meat in a large skillet. Chop up your onion and bell peppers and add to the meat while it is cooking. Add in salt, pepper and garlic powder. Season to your taste preferences. Try to cook your meat so that you have nice sized chunks, like tiny meatballs. Add in the package of Spaghetti Sauce Mix.

When the meat is done add in the can of stewed tomatoes and two of the cans of tomato sauce. Don't throw the cans away! Fill each can with water and add it to the meat/sauce mix. Pour the meat/sauce mix into your baking pan.

Now for the spaghetti. When the water starts to boil add it your spaghetti and let it boil. I never use a whole package of spaghetti but it is trial and error knowing how much to use. I use about 3/4 pack of spaghetti. A trick is to stir the spaghetti as it cooks, especially right after you put the spaghetti in so that it doesn't stick together. Boil the spaghetti until when you lift it with a fork it is completely limp. I heard a trick once that if you take one and throw it at the ceiling, if it sticks it is done. I did that once. LOL! It works but I wouldn't recommend it because you have to get it down.

When it is done, drain it in a strainer and rinse. With a fork, lift out the spaghetti and mix it in through the meat/sauce mix. It should look like the photo below. Taste it and season to your preferences. Bake in the oven and 350.

The third can of tomato sauce comes in to personal preferences. Sometimes when you bake the pasta soaks up the sauce. Or, you've put in too much spaghetti and its looking not too saucy. Use the third can of tomato sauce to adjust. Add some tomato sauce and some water. Mix it in and put it back in the over to cook a little longer.

One adjustment would be what I call spaghetti surprise. I take cheese, cut it in chunks and stick it into the spaghetti in different places, covered by the spaghetti so that when you spoon it out to serve you have this nice melted cheese. Or, you can sprinkle cheese over it when it is served (below.)

This can be served with salad and garlic bread. Remember, always season to taste. The best cooking you can do it by learning from experience. Sometimes recipes don't make sense until you do it the first time to understand what someone is trying to tell you to do (smile.)

Happy eating and God bless!

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