Sunday, July 22, 2012

baked spaghetti

I am sure everyone makes a variation of this but my Mom has one great shortcut* and one great unexpected ingredient# that makes this wonderful and easy.

Whole wheat spaghetti noodles
*Premade Publix Italian meatballs (at the meat counter)
2-3 jars of canned spaghetti sauce (I use a variety of Bertolli sauces)
#Goat cheese
Mozz and parm cheeses
Italian spices

Preheat oven to 350.  Boil 1/2 to 3/4 of a box of noodles and drain.  Scramble and cook meatballs until done, drain.  (I remove most of the basil leaves from the package but some won't hurt.)  I start by layering noodles, then sauce, meat and then crumble the goat cheese in a glass or ceramic 9x13 pan.  (The acid in tomato sauce isn't good for metal pans.)  Although the meatballs have wonderful flavoring already, I usually sprinkle on some basil, thyme and rosemary on a couple of layers as well.  You can do a few light layers of parm and mozz too.  Continue layering until the top is mostly sauce and some parm.  Bake until bubbly.

The meatballs freeze really well and you can cook them from frozen so I always have some on-hand.  This finished dish freezes really well also so I make two and freeze one.  This is a great dish to take to others with some garlic bread and salad too.  You'd be amazed how much difference the goat cheese makes!

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