Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Spaghetti Casserole & Baked Garlic Herb Bread

Last week I made this dish on a whim when we could not think of anything we wanted to make for dinner. (this happens a lot!) We are both pasta lovers and welcome new dishes with open arms. Needless to say, this one was a hit...out of the park. I think Stephen had it for leftovers for three meals! 

1 pound uncooked spaghetti
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1 pound ground beef
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Pinch crushed red pepper flakes
1 26-ounce jar spaghetti sauce
3 ounces Parmesan cheese, freshly grated (about 3/4 cup)
8 ounces mozzarella cheese, shredded or thinly sliced (about 2 cups)

1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
2 cloves garlic, minced
Pinch salt
1 16-inch loaf Italian bread, halved lengthwise
Preheat oven to 350°F. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the spaghetti and cook according to package directions; drain.

In a large Dutch oven, heat the oil over medium-high heat. Add the beef; cook about 5 minutes or until brown, breaking meat up with a fork as it cooks. Add the salt, oregano, black pepper, and red pepper flakes. Stir in the spaghetti sauce, Parmesan, and the cooked spaghetti. Transfer to baking dish. Top evenly with mozzarella. Bake for 30 to 40 minutes or until the cheese is melted and bubbling.

For the garlic bread, while the casserole bakes, whisk together the butter, parsley, garlic, and salt. Brush the butter mixture over the cut sides of both bread halves. Wrap each half in aluminum foil; bake, alongside the casserole, for 15 to 20 minutes or until heated through.

For crispier bread, unwrap for the last 5 minutes of baking. Serve bread with the casserole.

Serves 8
The best part about this recipe: so easy! The garlic bread was amazing as well, which could pair with so many other dishes. This will definitely be put into our regular rotation of dinners.
In other news...the tailgate was so fun on Saturday, despite cold weather and drizzle (yuck). Our food was awesome, setup was great, and company was even better. Will post pics soon!

Happy Tuesday! 

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