Take the comforting flavor of spaghetti with tomato meat sauce, the distinct under-note of Parmesan cheese, a hint of garlic, basil and onion, top it with melted mozzarella cheese ~ and add to that the ease of a make-ahead dinner and you have this fabulous Baked Spaghetti. All things wonderful in a nicely packed 9×13 dish. Delizioso!
My all-time favorite cuisine is italian … and pasta is usually involved in my favorite dishes. I will just go ahead and admit it now. I could eat spaghetti everyday and never get tired of it. That may stem from my childhood. My mom made spaghetti a lot. It’s one of those comfort foods that I refuse to give up.
But, I have raised it up a level from my childhood … I call it pasta. I remember the amused look on my mom’s face (years ago) when I told her I had made pasta for dinner. She said, “You mean spaghetti.” Yes, my mom did try to keep me grounded.
But, whatever it is called … you say spaghetti, I say pasta … I could eat it all day long. Yes, I love it that much.
This dish really starts with a good sauce. I used a store-bought jar sauce (there are so many flavors to choose from) though you could use a homemade sauce. That is what makes this dish so versatile and tasty for anyone. It takes on the flavors of your favorite pasta sauce, whether it comes from a jar or you make it yourself.
The egg and Parmesan cheese mixture is what holds this baked spaghetti together and gives it that extra flavorful ‘oomph’ you get from the Parmesan cheese.
Cooking pasta to the right texture is one of my obsessions. I really like al dente pasta … which is pasta that is firm, yet cooked all the way through. No mushy pasta for me. Fortunately, making al dente pasta is easy. Just use the shortest time listed on the pasta package … and you are al dente done!
This Baked Spaghetti layers similar to a lasagne. First the noodles, then top with half of the cottage cheese, then half of the meat sauce and finally half of the mozzarella cheese. Repeat and Voila! Instant layered mass of goodness in a 9×13 pan.
This is a great make-ahead dish. When I have family over, I often love doing a make-ahead dish the day before, store it overnight in the refrigerator and bake it (with no mess in the kitchen) for dinner the next day. When I do this, I increase the baking time by about 15 minutes.
This looks so yummy! I just want to dive into this Baked Spaghetti and eat some now. Buon appetito!
Adapted from this recipe on All Recipes.
- 1 (16 ounce) package spaghetti
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 onion, chopped
- 1 clove garlic, chopped
- 1 pound ground beef
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1½ jars spaghetti sauce (36 ounces)
- 1 teaspoon basil (or other italian seasoning)
- 2 eggs
- ⅓ cup grated Parmesan cheese
- 4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) butter, melted
- 2 cups cottage cheese, divided
- 4 cups shredded mozzarella cheese, divided
- Cook spaghetti 'al dente' in a large pot of boiling water according to package directions. Spaghetti is al dente when firm, yet cooked through. Drain.
- In a large skillet, heat 1 tablespoon olive oil and sauté onions and garlic until onions are translucent.
- Add ground beef and salt. Cook until browned through. Drain excess fats.
- Return meat mixture back into skillet and add the spaghetti sauce. Sprinkle with basil or other italian seasoning. Let simmer, stirring occasionally.
- In a large bowl, whisk together the eggs, Parmesan cheese and melted butter until blended. Add drained spaghetti to mixture and toss to coat well.
- In a greased 9X13 baking dish, place half the spaghetti mixture and layer with half of the cottage cheese, half of the meat sauce and half of the mozzarella cheese. Repeat with remaining ingredients. Cover with aluminum foil.
- Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes. Remove foil and continue to bake until cheese is melted (about 10 minutes).
Hope you enjoy your Baked Spaghetti!