Baked Spaghetti is something that we learned about from a dear friend whose children we both used to work with. What started out as a job for the two of us, over the years, became a second home. It’s even where we met! We both have Bachelors degrees in Psychology and we answered a newspaper ad to work with children with Autism. Little did we know, those children, that family, and the people we would meet there changed our lives. Without that family, we wouldn’t have each other and we wouldn’t have baked spaghetti. There would be no kids in the sink. I mean, there would be kids. But they wouldn’t be in the sink. What does that even mean anyway? Who knows? Our lives wouldn’t be as rich and blessed as they are, that about sums it up. And we might be hungry. And we definitely wouldn’t be foodies.
So, baked spaghetti is super easy and you can suit it to your tastes. We like ours extra, deliciously cheesy. Don’t go overboard with the cheese though because once, when Heather was pregnant or post-partum or some other super emotional day, she made this for us and let’s just say there were a few noodles mixed in with a cheese dinner. It resulted in her pretty much biting our heads off and telling us not to eat it if we didn’t like it. I liked it. I didn’t say anything. But she’s over it. She’s generally a very nice person. Like we said, she was super emotional. Don’t hate. The lesson we learned from that is that we don’t let Heather estimate.
Back to the spaghetti. Sorry, you know how we love asides. Suit it to your tastes. If you like a lot of cheese, put more cheese. If you like a lot of sauce or a particular sauce, add more or less. The recipe here is an estimate. Not a Heather estimate, a Melissa estimate. So it’s safe.
If you’re having a lazy day and want a dinner that is fast and delicious and a little different than your typical spaghetti dinner, this is for you. And a big shout out to the family that changed our lives. You know who you are and we love you!
-Heather and Melissa
1- 1 ½ cups your favorite spaghetti sauce (recipe of the one we used below)
2 cups cheese, divided (we’ve used mozzarella and we’ve done a mixture of mozzarella and cheddar; use what you like)
1 package of spaghetti noodles
- Preheat oven to 350˚.
- Cook noodles according to package instructions, stopping a minute or two before al dente.
- Drain the noodles and mix with the spaghetti sauce and a cup of cheese. Place into a 9×13 baking dish and top with the remaining cup of cheese.
- Bake for 20 minutes, or until cheese is golden and bubbly.
For the sauce:
3 tbsp olive oil
3 cloves garlic, minced
½ tsp red pepper flakes
½ tsp salt
1 (28 oz) can crushed tomatoes
1-2 tsp lemon juice
- In a medium sauce pan, combine the olive oil, garlic, and red pepper flakes and saute over medium-high heat until the garlic sizzles.
- Stir in the tomatoes and simmer for 5-10 minutes, until the sauce starts to thicken.
- Remove from heat and stir in lemon juice and salt.
Source: Baked spaghetti from a family friend, sauce from A Couple Cooks