Recipe 11.2: Baked Spaghetti with Meat Sauce

October 9, 2010 in Italian, The Weekly Menus and Recipes, Turkey

While you can just make regular spaghetti with meat sauce, I like to mix it up sometimes and change it into a baked dish. When you bake this spaghetti it draws the sauce into the pasta and the mozzarella melts to create a crisp/chewy top layer for each piece of pasta. It is a great recipe for leftovers as well! We had dinner, plus two lunches each out of this one!

Ingredients:

1 lb. wheat pasta (I used spaghetti because we buy it in bulk, but a short pasta like penne would be great here)

3/4 cup cooked turkey with onions and garlic (leftover from 11.1)

1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese

1 large can crushed tomatoes

1 medium can diced tomatoes

5 cloves garlic, minced

1/4 cup olive oil

1/2 tbs. each dried basil, parsley, and oregano

1 tsp. crushed red pepper, to taste

salt and pepper, to taste

Optional:

1/4 cup red wine

Directions:

Heat oven to 35o.

Cook pasta for approximately 5 minutes, or until softened. You do not want to cook it all the way through, as it will cook more in the oven.

While pasta cooks, prepare sauce. Heat large pot over medium heat. Add oil. Once heated, add garlic and red pepper. Allow to soften, then add can crushed tomatoes and diced tomatoes. Stir in basil, parsley, oregano, salt, and pepper (to taste). Add wine, if using. Bring to a boil, then add turkey. Reduce heat to simmer and cover. Allow to simmer for at least 10 minutes. Leave covered and simmering until you are ready to serve.

Drain pasta, then pour into rectangular casserole dish. Pour sauce on top of pasta. Top with mozzarella, then place on middle rack in oven. Bake for 10-15 minutes, or until cheese is lightly browned and bubbly. Remove from oven. Allow to cool, 15 minutes, then slice into squares. Serve in bowls.


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