We are having far from normal spring like temperatures here in Charlotte lately. With cold and rainy days still upon us my body is craving warm comfort foods. While going through some recipes I came across this Baked Spaghetti recipe of Paula Deens. While I have made, and of course eaten spaghetti my whole life I can’t recall ever really having baked spaghetti before. To put a twist on one of my very favorite foods I decided to give it a shot.
Paula Deen isn’t exactly known for healthy cooking but after reading through the list of ingredients I realized it wouldn’t be hard to lighten this recipe up a bit. I used 93% lean ground beef and I used a reduced amount of lower fat cheeses. I also used whole wheat spaghetti noodles in place of the angel hair like the recipe called for, although whole wheat angel hair would work just as well.
This dish is perfect to make for feeding a crowd like family gatherings or a potluck dinner. It is assembled much like the classic spaghetti recipe then baked in the oven to create a thicker sauce and a crispy cheesy topping. Add a garden salad to the side for a nice and nutritious well-balanced meal.
(Recipe adapted from Paula Deen)
– 8 oz. uncooked whole wheat spaghetti noodles
– 1 lb. 93% lean ground beef
– 1 tablespoon parsley
– 1/2 teaspoon salt
– 1/2 teaspoon pepper
– 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
– 1 1/2 teaspoons sugar
– 1 1/2 teaspoons Italian seasoning
– 2 cups of tomato sauce
– 1 cup water
– 2 cups canned diced tomatoes
– 2 cloves garlic, chopped
– 1/2 cup diced green pepper
– 1/2 cup diced onion
– 2 small bay leaves
– 3/4 cup grated 2% cheddar cheese
– 3/4 cup 2% mozzarella cheese
– 1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
– Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
– In a large pot, combine the tomatoes, tomato sauce, water, onions, peppers, garlic, parsley, salt, pepper, garlic powder, Italian Seasoning , sugar, and bay leaves. Bring to a boil over high heat, and then reduce the heat and let simmer, covered, for 1 hour.
– Cook the ground beef in a large skillet over medium-high heat until fully cooked, with no pink color remaining. Drain the fat from the meat, and then add the ground beef to the stockpot. Simmer for 20 more minutes.
– Cook the pasta according to the package directions. Cover the bottom of a 13 by 9 by 2-inch pan with sauce. Add a layer of pasta and then a little less than 1/2 cup each of the cheddar and mozzarella cheese; Add another layer of sauce, the remainder of the pasta noodles, and the rest of the sauce. Bake in the oven for 30 minutes. Top the casserole with the remaining cheese, sprinkle on the grated parmesan and return to the oven, to continue cooking until the cheese is melted and bubbly, about 5 more minutes. Cut into squares and serve.