Sunday, February 21, 2010

Baked Spaghetti

This is one of my sons' favorite dinners - Baked Spaghetti. The most important thing to have to fix this is an oven. I don't technically have an oven but I have a convection cooker, known popularly as a Turbo Broiler. Here's how to fix Baked Spaghetti (and avoid ordering ones from restaurants with crappy sauce and exorbitant prices).


1 pound (half a kilo) of lean ground beef
1 onion, minced
1 cup of whole tomatoes, peeled and diced or 1 can of peeled, whole tomatoes
1 can of tomato sauce
1 tablespoon of ground basil
1 teaspoon oregano
1/2 teaspoon fennel seeds, minced
1 bay leaf, whole
salt & pepper

Pasta: Spaghetti, Angel Hair, Penne or any kind that you like.
Cheese: Mozarella and Parmesan

To cook:
1. In a large stockpot, dump the ground beef and minced onion. Turn the heat on moderate and brown the meat, stirring constantly.
2. Make sure that there is no water left behind, if there's some rendered oil, take it out with a spoon.
3. When the meat is browned, add the herbs (basil, oregano, fennel and bay leaf).
4. Dump the tomatoes and stir for 5 minutes. Add the tomato sauce and add about half a can of water (stirring the water in can to get the leftover sauce residue).
5. Cook the sauce for 20 to 30 minutes. Taste the sauce, if needed add more salt and pepper.

To assemble:
1. Cook your pasta according to your package directions. Whether you want it al dente or soft & soggy (like my hubby wants it), it's up to you. It doesn't matter really.
2. Drain the pasta and add it to a spaghetti boat or an oven-proof dish.
3. Ladle the sauce over the pasta and make sure you cover every inch.
4. Sprinkle some parmesan cheese and then cover it with shredded mozarella. Again, make sure you cover every inch of it.
5. Set your oven to 150 degree Celsius and cook your spaghetti for 10 to 15 minutes or until the cheese is golden-brown.

Take it out and set it aside for a few minutes before serving. It's too hot to eat when it is fresh out of the oven.

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