Experience the comforting embrace of a classic Italian favourite with our indulgent Baked Spaghetti recipe. This dish takes the beloved simplicity of spaghetti and elevates it to a whole new level of deliciousness. Strands of perfectly cooked pasta are enrobed in a rich, savoury tomato sauce, generously layered with a velvety blend of cheeses. Baked to golden perfection, each forkful delivers a symphony of textures and flavours that will leave you savouring every bite. Whether for a family dinner or a gathering with friends, this dish promises a hearty, soul-soothing meal that’s both familiar and utterly irresistible. Follow our step-by-step guide to create a Baked Spaghetti that will have everyone coming back for seconds.
How To Make This Recipe
- 400g spaghetti
- 500g ground beef
- 1 small onion, finely chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 400g canned crushed tomatoes
- 250g ricotta cheese
- 100g mozzarella cheese, shredded
- 50g Parmesan cheese, grated
- 1 egg, beaten
- 2 tablespoons fresh basil, chopped
- 2 tablespoons fresh parsley, chopped
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Olive oil for greasing
- Cook the Spaghetti:
- Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the spaghetti and cook until al dente, following package instructions. Drain and set aside.
- Prepare the Meat Sauce:
- In a large skillet, heat a bit of olive oil over medium heat. Add the chopped onion and cook until translucent. Add the minced garlic and cook for another minute. Add the ground beef and cook until browned. Stir in the crushed tomatoes, dried oregano, salt, and pepper. Let it simmer for about 10 minutes.
- Prepare the Cheese Mixture:
- In a bowl, combine the ricotta cheese, beaten egg, chopped basil, chopped parsley, and half of the grated Parmesan cheese. Mix well.
- Combine Pasta and Meat Sauce:
- Add the cooked spaghetti to the meat sauce. Toss until the pasta is evenly coated.
- Layer the Baked Spaghetti:
- Preheat the oven to 180°C (350°F). Grease a large baking dish with olive oil. Spread half of the spaghetti and meat mixture in the dish.
- Add the Cheese Layer:
- Spread the ricotta cheese mixture over the spaghetti layer. Sprinkle half of the shredded mozzarella cheese on top.
- Repeat Layers:
- Add the remaining spaghetti and meat mixture on top. Sprinkle the remaining mozzarella cheese and grated Parmesan cheese over it.
- Cover the baking dish with foil and bake in the preheated oven for about 25-30 minutes, or until the cheese is bubbly.
- Final Browning:
- Remove the foil and bake for an additional 10-15 minutes, or until the cheese is golden and bubbly.
- Allow the Baked Spaghetti to cool for a few minutes before serving.
- Serve hot and savour the delightful combination of flavours and textures.
Tips Of Recipe
- Quality Ingredients Matter: Use fresh, high-quality ingredients for the best results. This is especially important for staples like olive oil, tomatoes, and cheeses.
- Don’t Overcomplicate: Italian cuisine often relies on simple, fresh flavours. Let the ingredients shine without overloading the dish with too many elements.
- Balance Flavours: Achieve a harmonious balance of sweet, sour, salty, and bitter flavours. For example, use a touch of sugar to balance the acidity of tomatoes.
- Fresh Herbs Make a Difference: Whenever possible, use fresh herbs like basil, parsley, and oregano. They add a vibrant, aromatic quality to dishes.
- Master the Art of Pasta Cooking: Cook pasta until it’s al dente – firm to the bite. This ensures a pleasing texture and allows the pasta to absorb sauces properly.
- Season as You Go: Taste and adjust the seasoning as you cook. Don’t be afraid to add a little more salt, pepper, or herbs to enhance the flavour.
- Simmer Sauces Gently: Allow tomato sauces to simmer over low heat for a longer period. This helps develop depth of flavour and melds the ingredients together.
- Garlic Tips: Use fresh garlic, and if possible, sauté it briefly to release its flavour. Be careful not to let it brown, as it can turn bitter.
- Homemade Stocks and Broths: If using stock or broth, consider making your own for a richer, more authentic taste.
- Let Doughs Rest: Whether it’s pizza dough, pasta dough, or bread, allowing it to rest helps develop flavour and texture.
- Pair Wine Thoughtfully: When serving wine with Italian dishes, consider regional pairings. For example, Chianti with Tuscan dishes or Pinot Grigio with lighter fare.
- Fresh Cheese is Key: Use fresh, high-quality cheeses like mozzarella, Parmesan, and ricotta for an authentic taste.
- Embrace the Seasonality of Ingredients: Use ingredients that are in season for the freshest and most flavourful results.
- Presentation Matters: Pay attention to how you plate your dishes. A well-presented dish can elevate the dining experience.
- Practice Patience: Italian cooking often requires time and patience, especially when it comes to slow-simmered sauces and homemade pastas.
Serving Size: 1 portion (250g)
- Calories: 350 kcal
- Total Fat: 15g
- Saturated Fat: 5g
- Cholesterol: 50mg
- Sodium: 700mg
- Total Carbohydrates: 40g
- Dietary Fiber: 5g
- Sugars: 8g
- Protein: 20g
Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet.
Please note that these values are just an example and can vary widely depending on the specific recipe and portion size. Always refer to the specific nutritional information provided with a recipe or on food packaging for accurate details.