Monday, January 17, 2011

Southern Style Baked Spaghetti


Southern and Spaghetti..... those two words really don't seem to belong in the same sentence do they? I couldn't help pondering this as I was making dinner tonight, which this is what I cooked. I am always attempting to find new and creative ways to mix up classic dishes. I love spaghetti, but quite frankly, get tired of the same old same old. I like classic Italian marinara sauces, but don't have the whole day to devote to making it. Even though my cousin and I (we were roomates in college), had this uber-goodlooking Italian neighbor who could make a really wicked marinara sauce, and he even once verbally shared it with us. I happened to remember EVERYTHING he said. I think that is because I used to absorb his every word! Ah...please pause a moment so I can sigh and pay my respect to youthfulness........ Thank you. It is a great sauce, but takes way too long. So my apologies to my old neighbor, but I had to come up with something that wasn't from a store bought jar AND could be made in a reasonable amount of time. Not too mention, isn't your same old boring spaghetti!
The recipe may seem like a lot of steps, but each individual "set" can be multitasked. If you are a woman, this should be easy for you...multitasking.


Southern Style Baked Spaghetti

For the Sauce:

2 cans whole tomatoes
2 cloves garlic
1 tbsp. herbs de provence ( oregano, rosemary, tyme, savory and marjoram)
1 tsp. garlic powder
1/4 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp pepper
1 bay leaf
1 can tomato paste
1 tsp. sugar

*In a food processor, blend tomatoes and next five ingredients. Transfer mixture to a saucepan and add bay leaf, tomato paste and sugar. Cook over med-low heat, reducing heat to low once it starts to boil. Cover and allow to simmer while you prepare meat and noodles.

For the Beef:
2 lbs. lean ground beef
1/2 sweet onion, diced
1 bell pepper, diced
1/2 tsp. dried basil
1 tsp. vanilla protein powder (optional)
salt and pepper to taste

* Heat skillet of med-high heat and brown meat, adding basil, protein powder, salt and pepper (to season meat). Drain. Return skillet to stovetop and saute onions and bell pepper sans meat. Add meat to veggie mixture. Set aside.

For the noodles:

1 pkg. angel hair pasta noodles OR Spaghetti noodles

* Do I really need to tell you how to prepare this? I shall not insult your intelligence! Cook them, al dente!

1 cup olives, black or green, diced (optional)
4 ounces cream cheese
1 1/2 cups shredded cheddar cheese

For the Whole Shabang:

*Put cream cheese into sauce and mix until melted; add meat and olives. Add noodles to meat and sauce mixture. Pour into a casserole dish, 9x13, that has been sprayed with cooking spray or olive oil spray.Make sure to remove bay leaf! Add shredded cheese to top. Bake at 350 degrees for 15- 20 minutes.


Busy Mom said...

Left you a lil something on my blog!! I wish you would just come cook for me!! ;o)

Jennifer Werneth said...

um, i know i'm a bit behind, but i do love me some baked spaghetti! i would've never thought to put cream cheese in the sauce. mmmm...awesome!

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