Baked Spaghetti

Okay, so this baked spaghetti is crazy good. Think lasagna, but made with thin spaghetti noodles or vermicelli instead.

How to Make Baked Spaghetti

It is possible to prepare baked spaghetti in a manner that is very similar to that of lasagna. There is a tomato-based meat sauce, mozzarella, ricotta, and Parmesan cheeses, as well as pasta, that are piled and cooked together to create this casserole.

You use thin spaghetti noodles rather than wide lasagna pasta, and you add a couple of beaten eggs to the cooked noodles while they are still in the process of cooking. These are the primary differences.

The noodles are held in place by the eggs, which makes it possible to cut and serve even rectangles without the noodles falling apart under the pressure.

If you are looking for something to serve a hungry adolescent lad who is visiting for spring break, who somehow manages to eat his weight every day, who enjoys skateboarding and can play Minecraft for hours without getting bored, then this is the ideal item to serve him. I don’t know anyone who is even quite similar to this.

Jarred Sauce or Homemade? Your Choice

You can make your own or use a good quality jarred sauce. To make your own, make a double recipe of our basic tomato sauce, and blend it smooth to use for this baked spaghetti.

A Word About Mushrooms

If you don’t like mushrooms, please feel free to leave them out. If you love mushrooms, I recommend using shiitake because they are so wonderfully flavorful. Or you could augment creminis with dried porcinis that have been reconstituted in hot water.

How to Store and Reheat Leftovers

Half the pleasure of making baked spaghetti or lasagna is enjoying the leftovers! This baked spaghetti will keep in the fridge for at least five days. Reheat individual slices in the microwave, or warm the whole casserole (covered with foil) in the oven at 350°F until bubbly again.

Baked Spaghetti

PREP TIME10 mins
COOK TIME105 mins
TOTAL TIME115 mins
SERVINGS8 to 10 servings

Save time on prep by chopping the onions and mushrooms while the sausage is cooking, and grating the cheese while the pasta is cooking.

You can assemble this up to a day ahead. Just cover it and keep it in the fridge, and add a few minutes to the bake time.

Ingredients

  • 3/4 pound vermicelli pasta or thin spaghetti
  • 1 pound sweet Italian sausage (removed from casings)
  • 1/4 pound shiitake or cremini mushrooms, roughly chopped
  • 1 medium onion, chopped, about 1 1/2 cups
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 3 cups (24 ouncesmarinara or meatless tomato sauce, homemade or store-bought
  • 1 1/2 cups water
  • 1 tablespoon Italian seasoning
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil, plus more for greasing the casserole dish
  • 1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 2 large eggs, beaten
  • 1 cup ricotta cheese
  • 2 to 3 cups shredded mozzarella cheese

Method

  1. Heat salted water for the pasta:

    Put a large pot of water on the stove on high heat. Add salt to the water, about 2 tablespoons of salt for 4 quarts of water. While the pasta water is heating, continue with the next steps.

  2. Cook the sausage:

    Break up the sausage into clumps into a large sauté pan. Turn the heat on, to medium. Slowly cook the sausage, breaking the sausage into smaller pieces as it cooks. The slow cooking will help render the fat. Cook until the sausage is cooked through, no longer pink anywhere.

    Remove the sausage from the pan with a slotted spoon and set aside. Drain the fat from the pan (not into your sink or you may clog it!)

    Browned sausage in a pan to make baked spaghetti
     

  3. Cook the onions, mushrooms, and spices:

    Add the chopped onions and mushrooms to the pan. Increase the heat to medium high. Cook, stirring frequently, until the onions become translucent and the mushrooms have given up some of their liquid.

    Add the minced garlic and red chili pepper flakes, and cook a minute more.

    Mushrooms and onions in a pan for baked spaghetti sauce
     

  4. Simmer the marinara, sausage, and seasonings:

    Add the marinara sauce and the 1 1/2 cups of water to the pan with the onions and mushrooms. Add the sausage back to the pan. Add the Italian seasoning and chopped parsley.

    Bring to a simmer and reduce the heat to a very low simmer on the lowest setting on your stovetop. Cook for 10 to 15 minutes or so while you make the pasta.

    Tomato sauce simmering for a baked spaghetti recipe
     

  5. Cook and drain the pasta:

    By this time your pasta water should be boiling. Add the pasta to the boiling water and cook, uncovered, at a rolling boil, for 5 to 6 minutes, al dente.

    Note that the pasta will continue to cook and absorb some of the sauce when it is in the casserole dish in the oven, so the pasta should be al dente. When ready, drain the pasta and rinse in cold water.

  6. Toss with olive oil, then eggs:

    Place the cooled pasta in a large bowl. Toss with olive oil, then the Parmesan, then 2 beaten eggs. It’s easiest to do this with your (clean) hands.

    Cooked spaghetti in a bowl
     

  7. Preheat oven and prepare casserole pan:

    Preheat your oven to 350°F. Rub the inside of a 9×13 inch casserole dish (a Pyrex dish works great) with olive oil.

  8. Layer sauce and pasta in casserole dish:

    Spread 1 cup of the sauce over the bottom of the casserole dish.

    Place half of the pasta in an even layer in the casserole dish. Cover with half of the sauce.

    Sauce in a dish showing how to make baked spaghetti
     

    Baked Spaghetti layered in a dish before baking
     

    Baked spaghetti in a dish ready to bake
     

  9. Add the cheeses and layer again:

    Dot the sauce with all of the ricotta cheese. Sprinkle half of the Mozzarella over the ricotta layer.

    Layer again with the remaining pasta, the remaining sauce, and the remaining mozzarella.

    Baked Spaghetti topped with cheese and ready to bake
  10. Bake:

    Cover with foil and bake for 40 minutes at 350°F. Remove the foil and bake an additional 20 minutes uncovered. Remove from oven and let rest for at least 10 minutes before cutting into squares and serving.

    Baked Spaghetti ready to eat

 FAQ

What is Roasted Red Pepper Pasta Sauce?

Roasted Red Pepper Pasta Sauce is a flavorful and vibrant sauce made from roasted red bell peppers, garlic, onions, tomatoes, and herbs. It’s a delicious alternative to traditional tomato-based pasta sauces, offering a slightly sweet and smoky flavor with a hint of tanginess from the peppers.

How do I make Roasted Red Pepper Pasta Sauce?

To make Roasted Red Pepper Pasta Sauce, start by roasting red bell peppers until charred and tender. Once cooled, remove the skins, seeds, and stems from the peppers. In a skillet, sauté chopped onions and garlic until softened, then add the roasted red peppers, diced tomatoes, tomato paste, vegetable broth, and herbs (such as basil, oregano, and thyme). Simmer the sauce for about 15-20 minutes to allow the flavors to meld together. Finally, blend the sauce until smooth using a blender or immersion blender. Serve the sauce over cooked pasta and garnish with grated Parmesan cheese and fresh basil, if desired.

What ingredients are needed for Roasted Red Pepper Pasta Sauce?

The main ingredients for Roasted Red Pepper Pasta Sauce include:

    • Red bell peppers
    • Onion
    • Garlic
    • Diced tomatoes (canned or fresh)
    • Tomato paste
    • Vegetable broth or water
    • Olive oil
    • Salt and pepper
    • Herbs (such as basil, oregano, and thyme) Optional ingredients for added flavor may include red pepper flakes for heat, balsamic vinegar for tanginess, or a splash of cream for creaminess.

Can I customize Roasted Red Pepper Pasta Sauce?

Yes, Roasted Red Pepper Pasta Sauce is versatile and can be customized to suit your taste preferences. You can adjust the amount of garlic and herbs used to enhance the flavor profile of the sauce. Additionally, you can add other ingredients such as sun-dried tomatoes, roasted garlic, or caramelized onions for extra depth of flavor. For a creamier sauce, you can blend in some heavy cream or coconut milk. Feel free to experiment with different types of peppers or spices to create your own unique version of the sauce.

Is Roasted Red Pepper Pasta Sauce suitable for meal prep?

Yes, Roasted Red Pepper Pasta Sauce is suitable for meal prep and can be made ahead of time. Once prepared, let the sauce cool completely before transferring it to an airtight container. Store the sauce in the refrigerator for up to 4-5 days or freeze it for longer storage. When ready to eat, reheat the sauce on the stovetop or in the microwave until heated through, then toss it with cooked pasta for a quick and delicious meal.

 

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