Over a Cup of Coffee: Baked Spaghetti

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A while back, a reader requested a recipe for spaghetti that had a can of tomatoes in the ingredients. I hunted through my recipes (keep in mind that at this time they are anything but organized) and came up with a recipe that’s cooked in a skillet. The reader graciously thanked me for the recipe but said it wasn’t the one she lost.This week, I may have found what she’s looking for.

It’s a spaghetti recipe that’s baked in the oven. It’s been a while since I’ve made it, but I thought I’d share the recipe with everyone. (I know that it’s pretty hot to bake anything, so you may want to put the recipe aside for cooler weather.) As I recall, it’s a tasty recipe.

To make “Baked Spaghetti,” you will need these ingredients: 1 1/2 pounds ground beef, 1/2 cup chopped onion, 1 clove garlic (minced) or 1/8 teaspoon garlic powder, 1 (16 ounce) can tomatoes (cut up), 1 (15 ounce) can tomato sauce, 1 (8 ounce) can mushroom stems and pieces, 1 1/2 teaspoons dried, crushed oregano, 1 teaspoon salt, 1 teaspoon dried, crushed basil, 2 teaspoons parsley flakes, 8 ounces of spaghetti (broken, cooked, and drained), 1 1/2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese and 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese.

You will need a 13x9-inch casserole dish. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

In a heavy skillet or Dutch oven, cook the ground beef, chopped onion and minced garlic until the beef is browned and the onion is tender. Drain off the excess grease. Stir in the tomatoes (do not drain them), tomato sauce, mushrooms, crushed oregano, salt, crushed basil and parsley flakes.

Bring the mixture to a boil. Boil gently, uncovered, for 20 to 25 minutes, stirring the sauce occasionally. Remove the meat sauce from the heat and stir in the cooked and drained spaghetti. Place half of the spaghetti-sauce mixture into the bottom of the casserole. Sprinkle with the mozzarella cheese. Top with the remaining spaghetti-sauce mixture and sprinkle with grated Parmesan cheese.

Bake the casserole at 350 degrees for 30 minutes. Serve with tossed salad and bread.

And here is a recipe that’s been featured in this column before, but it is worth repeating. “Skillet Beef-A-Roni” is easy to make and good. The green pepper is what gives this casserole its delicious taste.

To make “Skillet Beef-A-Roni” you will need: 1 1/2 pounds ground beef, 2 cups elbow macaroni, 1/2 cup onion (minced), 1/2 cup green pepper (chopped), 1 cup water, 1 teaspoon salt, 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce, 2 cups (16 ounces) tomato sauce and 1/4 teaspoon pepper.

Lightly brown the beef in a skillet. Remove it from the skillet and add the macaroni, onion and pepper to the meat fat. Cook until the onion is soft. Put the meat back in the skillet. Add the tomato sauce, water, salt, pepper and Worcestershire sauce. Cover and simmer for 25 minutes or until the macaroni is tender.

I make this skillet recipe a lot. It’s good served with a green vegetable or tossed salad.

If you have a recipe you’d like to share, send it to PO Box 415, Craig, CO 81626, or call 970-824-8809.

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