Sunday Dinner – Baked Spaghetti

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Well…it’s another pasta dish! Granted, this one does have some meat in it, so there’s at least that going for it, right? Also, the meat in it isn’t chicken so I really think we’re batting a thousand on this one. I have no complaints…and I guess the folks that ate it didn’t have complaints either…they both ate two helpings.

All the things…in the dish…
Keeping cooking priorities straight – always have wine on hand…

What You Need

– 16 ounces thin spaghetti
– 1 lb. ground beef (you can also use Italian sausage)
– 24 ounces jar of marinara sauce
– 2 eggs
– 1/3 cup Parmesan cheese
– 5 tbsp. butter, melted
– 15 ounces Ricotta cheese
– 3 tbsp. Cilantro
– 1/4 cup sour cream
– 3 cups Mozzarella cheese
The assembly line…
Before the oven – look at all the layers.

What You Need to Do

– Preheat the oven to 350; coat a 9×13 baking dish with cooking spray and set aside.
– Cook pasta according to directions on package; drain. Whisk together 2 eggs, melted butter and Parmesan cheese. Toss with pasta and set aside.
– Combine the Ricotta cheese, sour cream and Cilantro. Set aside/add to your assembly line.
– Brown ground beef/sausage and drain any grease. Mix marinara sauce in with cooked ground beef and set aside.
– Layer half of the pasta mixture, half of the Ricotta cheese mixture, half of the meat sauce and half of the Mozzarella cheese. Repeat the layers.
– Cover the dish with tinfoil and bake at 350 for 35 minutes. Remove foil and bake for 10 more minutes or until cheese is bubbly! 
– Enjoy with a side of crusty French bread!

After the oven – yes please!
Please ignore the fine china & look at the yummy food!

I really enjoyed this – I got the recipe from Plain Chicken and only modified bits and pieces; I didn’t use quite as much Mozzarella as she called for. My two guinea pigs did have one suggestion for making this dish in the future – they thought it needed more red sauce. 

I realize a 24 ounce jar of marinara sauce probably seems like a lot, but once you start to layer in all the ingredients…the marinara can get a little lost in all the other flavors. If you aren’t really a die hard “red sauce” fan, then make it according to the directions; I’m not a huge red sauce person and I thought it was just fine the way it was….
However, I was feeding two people who absolutely love traditional spaghetti and while they helped themselves to a second helping, they both agreed a little more red sauce could go a long way. I’d definitely tell you to give this recipe a try, just know who you’re cooking for and get into the kitchen!

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