Recipe: Baked Spaghetti

Let me just say: Publix rocks my socks. Shopping really IS a pleasure there, and they tend to pretty much always have what I need on sale, or better yet – BOGO. My only complaint is that I never make it in time for their Aprons samples. And if I do, they’re out of samples before I can get to them. It’s probably for the best, but I do like to try what they’re making because chances are, it will be delicious and I will end up purchasing the stuff to make it. Which is what happened the other day when I did make it in time for samples. I got there just in time to get one of the last plates of Baked Spaghetti. And holy cow, am I glad I did! It was mouth-watering, and I couldn’t wait to make it. So we finally got to have it tonight.

I knew Jimmy would love it, since spaghetti is his favorite meal ever. However, I didn’t realize he’d eat almost the entire pan!!! It’s similar to lasagna, but I personally like it better. It’s a great spin on the traditional dish, with the meat, pasta and sauce layered. So seriously, if you or any member of your family like spaghetti, give it a shot. It’s super easy, inexpensive to make, and sure to be a crowd-pleaser.

Baked Spaghetti (as adapted from Publix’s Aprons recipe)
8 oz. spaghetti pasta
1 lb. lean ground beef
1 c. diced onions
1/2 c. diced bell peppers
3 large eggs
1 tsp. oregano
1 tsp. seasoned salt
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
2 c. shredded Italian-blend cheeses
124-26 oz. jar spaghetti tomato sauce, whichever flavor you prefer

1. Bring water to boil in medium-large pot. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
2. Cook pasta according to box. While the pasta is cooking, continue to step three.
3. In a large bowl, combine uncooked peppers, onion, 1 egg, oregano, seasoned salt and garlic powder.

Mix with clean hands until well blended. Don’t forget to wash your hands afterward! Spread mixture evenly into ungreased 9×9-inch baking dish.
4. Drain pasta thoroughly (do not rinse). In a medium bowl, whisk together remaining two eggs until blended; stir in 1/2 cup cheese.

Add pasta; toss to coat.
5. Pour pasta over top of meat mixture and sprinkle lightly with oregano.

Then, pour tomato sauce over top of noodles. Sprinkle with remaining cheese, then lightly sprinkle with oregano.

6. Bake 30-35 minutes or until 165 degrees and meat is fully cooked. Let stand five minutes before serving.

(Makes 8 servings)
*Serve with garlic bread and Italian salad.
*After making this recipe, I would add 1/2 cup sliced green olives in with the tomato sauce. I always add green olives in when making spaghetti, and I think it would make an awesome addition to this recipe.  The extra tang from the olives is divine!


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