Saturday, December 29, 2007

Baked Spaghetti

So today I did a little blog wandering. I checked out "Is My Blog Burning" seeing if there were any events I could participate in. I didn't find any that I knew for sure I would be able to do given the due date on most of them. Then I remembered I wanted to join the Daring Bakers. Peabody had given me a little info on them and I ventured over to their blog site. After emailing and agreeing to the rules I am proud to say I will be participating in February's Daring Bakers Event. I am so excited, and petrified at the same time. I usually do not bake. Well, I do bake, but I admit it isn't my specialty. Not that anything has gone wrong in the kitchen (that I'll tell about anyway ha, ha ) but because I simply do not have a very strong sweet tooth. I'd say maybe 30% of my teeth are sweet.
That being said, I am still in awe of the fantastic creations the Daring Bakers ladies (and one man) come up with. And because I have a about 30% sweet teeth in me, I can't wait to start baking. What I don't devour, will be thrown to the dogs ( i.e. my beloved friends and coworkers. Note: I do not think they are dogs)

Oh yeah, the Baked spaghetti. Well I started browsing Ivonne and Lis' blog, the founders of Daring Bakers, and I came across this recipe from La Mia Cucina. It just looked so good I saved the recipe. I actually recommended it to a girl on a message board I frequent. It seems, that as soon as I did that I knew I wanted it, and I wanted it tonight. I have been craving a good pasta dish for a few days, actually a couple of weeks now. With all the turkey and apps the holidays bring, I just wanted a big hunk of pasta. And with this recipe I got it.

Thanks Lis for the recipe, it is a keeper, and I have over half a pan to munch on the next few days. For those who are afraid of the use of Cream of Crap (Cream of .... soups) this is one recipe where it is not a salty stand out, it actually makes it more delicious!

Baked Spaghetti
(La Mia Cucina) My modifications in red

1/2 c. chopped onions
1 c. chopped green peppers
1 TBS. olive oil
2 to 3 c. of your favorite marinara sauce ( I actually used my 1 cent jarred sauce from publix, I love Sunday and Monday there. If you spend $10 you get the "mystery item for a penny, last week it was jar sauce. Something I never use but found useful here)
1 (4 oz.) can mushroom slices ( I used Fresh)
1 (2 oz.) can sliced ripe olives2 tsp. oregano [ I omitted, Chad hates them : ( ]
1 1/2 lb. ground beef, brown and drain
1 lb. spaghetti, cooked al dente (You'll be baking it too, so don't boil for too long) and drained
1 wedge (1/2 lb.?) of Fontina cheese, sliced (Italian Fontina, it's semi-soft and melts perfectly.)Or any other good melting cheese - mozzarella would certainly be just as good. [ I used mozz]
1 (10 oz.) can cream of mushroom soup (using fat free or low sodium would be fine) [ I used 98% fat free]
1/4 c. water
1/2 c. grated Pecorino Romano or Asiago [I used Parmesano Reggiano]

Preheat oven to 350
In a large skillet, saute the onion and green pepper in olive oil until soft, then add the ground beef and cook until browned. Add mushrooms, olives, oregano and enough marinara to coat it all. You want it saucy, but not swimming in marinara.Simmer for 10 minutes.

In a large bowl, combine 1 - 1/2 c. of marinara with the al dente spaghetti - again, you want enough sauce to coat it, but not so much that the spaghetti is swimming in it.
Place half of the sauced spaghetti in a greased 13" x 9" x 2" baking pan (I used Pam)
Top with half the meat sauce. Layer half of the sliced Fontina over the meat sauce. Repeat layers.
Mix soup and water until smooth; pour over casserole. Sprinkle with Romano cheese.Bake, covered, at 350ยบ F for 25-30 minutes, until heated through, remove foil and bake another 5 minutes, or until top has started to turn goldeny brown and delicious. [Goldeny, don't you just love that word?]
Of course, I finished my plate. I won't mention the seconds ; - p


Peabody said...

I've made that baked spaghetti husband loves it.
Welcome to the Daring Bakers.

Carrie said...

I use to make this for an elderly couple I worked for, haven't made it since you have made me want too :-)

Anonymous said...

Yum! I think I am going to make this new years eve and add yummy salad and bread!

Anonymous said...

I loved baked pasta dishes. This looks like another one to try.

Beth G. @SweetLifeKitchen said...

YUM!! This sounds delicious!! :O)

Jen said...

Welcome to the DB group! Can't wait to see your first challenge. I was petrified too, but so far so good.

~Amber~ said...

Welcome to the DB!

This dish looks awesome. I love pasta and baked and smothered with melty cheese. Mmmmmm

Anonymous said...

What a great idea! I love thepic of the big hunk of pasta. Looks super tasty!