Every week when I sit down to plan my upcoming menu, pasta dinners are almost always on my list when I don’t know what to make. Italian cuisine is one of our favorites and in our house we make no distinction – we love everything from macaroni and cheese to creamy Alfredo and everything in between.
If you give me a box of pasta, I will boil it, bake it, or even simmer it—any way I can find a way to stuff it into my stomach. Of all the Italian recipes I cook on a regular basis, my favorite is probably pasta casseroles. During the winter months, there’s something comforting about a hearty casserole dinner; and when you add baked pasta to this category, your choice of comfort food triples! My Baked spaghetti it’s layers of meat, cheese and sauce that come together in a dish that will satisfy even the hungriest of people!
Related: 60 Best Pasta Dishes
Don’t be surprised to see the step by step instructions for this recipe! All of them are very simple and easy to do on a weekday. With thin spaghetti, Italian sausage sauce and three types of cheese, you know every layer will be bursting with flavor. It’s also a great way to stretch out a pound of pasta! For less than a dollar, this box of noodles will go a lot further in this casserole compared to a single dish.
Related: 45 Easy Pasta Dinners
What is ricotta cheese?
Like traditional lasagna, many pasta recipes include ricotta cheese. In case you’re not familiar, ricotta is an Italian whey cheese made with sheep, cow, goat, or even water buffalo milk. It is actually made from whey left over from other cheeses. The curd is creamy, white and slightly sweet. It is somewhat similar to the consistency of cottage cheese, but much lighter.
Can cottage cheese be substituted?
I get this question a lot with recipes including ricotta. I’m not sure if it’s a texture preference, or if ricotta is still hard to find in some places. For me, I don’t think they can be swapped in recipes like others do. Curd has a slightly sharper flavor than ricotta and is not as soft. The ricotta will almost dissolve into the recipe, while you’ll still have whole chunks of curd even when they’re cooked. I find ricotta at my regular grocery stores including Walmart, Target, Meijer, Kroger and even Aldi so it’s much more affordable than when I was a kid.
Ingredients for baked spaghetti
- thin spaghetti
- italian sausage
- spaghetti sauce
- mozzarella cheese
- parmesan cheese
- yellow bow
- melted butter
- seasoning salt
- Italian seasoning
- ricotta cheese
How to cook baked spaghetti
1. Preheat the oven to 350°C and grease a 9×13 cm baking dish – the deeper the better! In a small bowl, combine melted butter, eggs and parmesan. Postpone. Cook pasta according to package instructions, al dente.
2. While the pasta is cooking, in a large skillet, fry the sausages with onion and garlic until they are no longer pink. Drain water if necessary.
3. Add the sauce and seasoning to the sausage mixture and mix well. Keep warm.
4. When the pasta is cooked, drain well. Add it to a large bowl and stir in the egg mixture. Mix well to coat the noodles evenly.
5. Place half of the spaghetti in an oiled baking dish. Top with half the ricotta cheese, half the sausage mixture and half the mozzarella.
6. Repeat layers, ending with mozzarella. Cover with foil and bake for 40 minutes.
7. Remove from oven, open and sprinkle with Italian seasoning. Bake for another 20 minutes without a lid. Let rest 10 minutes before serving.
Baked spaghetti is one of those dishes that will make the whole house smell wonderful. The only difficulty with this recipe is waiting an hour for it to cook before you can bury it. But be patient, it’s 100% worth it! To pass the time, slice some crispy bread or mix up a salad for a real Italian meal worthy of any restaurant!
What to Serve with Baked Spaghetti:
More delicious pasta recipes to try:
- 1 pound thin spaghetti
- 1 pound soft Italian sausage
- one medium yellow onion, diced
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- one (24 oz) jar of pasta sauce
- 2 eggs
- ½ teaspoon seasoned salt
- ⅓ cup grated parmesan cheese
- 5 l butter, melted
- one (15 oz) container of ricotta cheese
- 4 cups grated mozzarella cheese
- 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
Preheat oven to 350.
Grease a 9×13 cm baking dish.
Boil pasta according to instructions and drain.
Whisk eggs, Parmesan and butter in a small bowl.
In a large skillet over medium heat, saute sausage with onion and garlic until no longer pink.
Drain water if necessary.
Add pasta sauce, salt.
When the pasta is cooked and drained, add it to a large bowl and mix well with the egg mixture to coat it.
Place half of the spaghetti mixture in a baking dish. T
with half ricotta, half meat sauce and half mozzarella.
Cover with foil and bake for 40 minutes.
Uncover, sprinkle with Italian seasoning and bake for another 20 minutes.
Let stand 10 minutes before serving.
Krista Marshall is the creator of Everyday Mom’s Meals and a stay-at-home mom. She lives in northern Indiana with her 18 year old husband and two wonderful and busy sons, 17 and 5. Everyday Mom’s Meals is for everyone from the novice cook to the seasoned home cook. Krista wants to bring families around the table with simple and delicious food. You can follow her on Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram and Twitter too much!