Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Spaghetti Pizza Bake

Spaghetti Pizza Bake1

Sometimes I get in a creative mood.

It doesn't always involve food.

As most of you know, I love to craft and I'm lucky enough to have a husband who is my own little carpenter. He made me these rat's for Halloween. They have LED lights in their eyes. Cool huh?

Rat 1

Rat 2

He's been busy making all sorts of gorgeous wooden items for Christmas presents too. Now I just have to get my butt in gear and start painting and sanding and staining.

While he was out sawing and nailing away I felt the need to get a little creative in the kitchen. So I started experimenting with some recipes. I took a little from one and another little bit from another, then added in my own bits and pieces and came up with this Spaghetti Pizza Bake.

Since pizza and spaghetti are up there on the list of foods my kids love, I knew combining the two tastes would be a winner....and it was oh, and I got to use my new favorite food - mini pepperoni.

As usual, I had a few extra teenagers over and they all loved this.....oh and so did the grown-ups.

Spaghetti Pizza Bake
recipe from Lisa @ The Cutting Edge of Ordinary
1 lb lean ground beef
1 - 2 tablespoons olive oil
1 small onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, crushed
1 32oz jar sauce
1 teaspoon dried Italian seasoning
1 tablespoon fresh basil (optional)
1 lb spaghetti pasta, broken into 2” pieces.
¾ cup milk
2 eggs, beaten
1 (5ounce) package of mini pepperoni
2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese (divided)
2 cups shredded Monterrey Jack cheese (divided)

Oven to 350. Lightly grease a large casserole dish.

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Prepare the ground beef mixture while the water boils.

Heat a large pan and add 1 –2 tablespoons of olive oil. Add the onions just until tender (about 5 minutes). Add the garlic and cook one minute more. Add in the ground beef, breaking it up as it cooks. Drain the beef mixture and return it to the pan. Add in the sauce, Italian seasoning and basil and let it simmer while you cook the spaghetti. Remember to break the spaghetti up into 2 inch pieces. Cook until it is very al dente. Don’t overcook. Remember, this will be baked, you don’t want mushy spaghetti.

Meanwhile combine the eggs and milk in a large bowl and mix until blended. Add in a 1 1/2 cups of each cheese (combine and reserve the 1/2 cusp of mozzarella & Monterrey Jack) and the mini pepperoni. Drain the spaghetti and run some cold water over it to stop the cooking process. Cooling it down will also stop it from melting the cheese when you add it to the mixture. Toss with the egg/milk/cheese mixture. Place half of the spaghetti mixture on the bottom of the pan top with 1/2 cup of the reserved cheese mixture, then top with half the meat mixture. Repeat layers.

Cover and bake at 350 degrees for 35-45 minutes until hot and bubbly. Let stand 5 minutes to set, then serve.
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