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Baked Spaghetti

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Ingredients

1 pound pork sausage
2 onions, chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 (8 ounce) package button mushrooms, sliced
1 (20 ounce) jar pasta sauce
1/3 cup water
1 (16 ounce) package spaghetti pasta
1 (16 ounce) jar Alfredo sauce
1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese, cubed
1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup sour cream
1 cup grated Parmesan cheese, divided
2 cups shredded Mozzarella cheese

Baked Spaghetti

  • Medium

About This Recipe

Everyone knows how to make Spaghetti and Meatballs. But did you know that you can transform those basic ingredients into a easy and delicious casserole that will serve up to 12 people? You just make two sauces, mix one with the cooked pasta, and layer them in a dish and bake until bubbly.

It’s always best to slightly undercook pasta when it is going to be baked in a sauce, or you risk overcooking the pasta. And no one likes pasta that is too soft. Cook the pasta until it is almost done, but still has quite a bite and, when you bite into it, has a small bit of white in the center.

Serve this easy recipe with a fresh green salad tossed with avocados and drizzled with a basic vinaigrette or a salad made with fresh pears and crisp greens. Some hot toasted garlic bread is a great accompaniment. For dessert, I would serve something made with ice cream for a cooling finish.

Why this recipe works:

  • It’s important to not cook the spaghetti to al dente in the first step. The pasta will continue cooking in the sauce as the dish bakes and you don’t want it to be too soft.
  • The spaghetti will be more flavorful in this version, since it will absorb flavors from the sauce as it continues cooking.
  • You do need lots of sauce in this recipe so it isn’t dry. Pasta sauce and Alfredo sauce add flavor and interest.

Steps

1
Done

Preheat the oven to 375°F. Spray a 9" x 13" glass pan with nonstick cooking spray and set aside. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil.

2
Done

In a large skillet, cook the pork sausage, onions, garlic, and mushrooms over medium heat, breaking up the meat with a fork, until the meat is browned and the vegetables are tender. This should take about 10 minutes.

3
Done

Drain the sausage mixture well. Then add the pasta sauce and water. Bring to a simmer over medium high heat, then reduce the heat and simmer while you prepare the remaining ingredients.

4
Done

Cook the pasta in the boiling water until it is almost al dente. I usually cook it for 2 minutes less than the package directions state. The pasta should have a small white dot in the center when you bite into it; do not cook to al dente. Drain the pasta and set aside.

5
Done

In another large skillet, combine the Alfredo sauce, cream cheese, and milk. Heat over medium heat, stirring frequently, until the cream cheese melts and the mixture starts to steam; don't let it boil. Stir in the sour cream and 1/3 cup of the parmesan cheese.

6
Done

Stir the pasta into the cream cheese mixture.

7
Done

Now layer the casserole. Start by putting 1/2 of the pasta mixture into the prepared dish. Top with 1/2 of the meat mixture. Repeat layers. Then top with the mozzarella cheese and the rest of the Parmesan cheese.

8
Done

Put the dish on a cookie sheet to prevent spillovers. Then bake for 25 to 35 minutes or until the casserole is bubbling around the edges and the cheese starts to brown. Let stand for 10 minutes, then serve.

lindaBest

lindaBest

Linda is a home economist who has authored 40 books (39 cookbooks and Medical Ethics for Dummies). She has worked for Pillsbury since 1988, on the Bake-Off and other projects. Linda has been a web presence since 2002, developing recipes and teaching people how to cook.

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