This “signature recipe” (which I sometimes call baked spaghetti) is one that I learned around the age of ten, in an agricultural extension cooking class. I get rave reviews whenever I make it. The trick is to over-spice the mixture slightly before baking it, as the baking process slightly diminishes the spices’ impact.
- 26 ounce jar of spaghetti sauce (or make your own)
- 16 ounce box of spaghetti
- 2 cups sliced mozzarella
- 1 egg
Preheat oven to 350°F and grease a 13×9-inch baking pan. Prepare spaghetti according to package directions, except remove and drain pasta when still slightly firm. Mix with spaghetti sauce and spice to taste. Break egg into mixture and stir thoroughly. Layer half of spaghetti and sauce in baking pan. Cover completely with sliced mozzarella. Layer remaining half on top and cover it completely with mozzarella as well. Bake 20-30 minutes or until cheese is bubbling on top. Makes 6-8 servings.
My usual variant of this includes adding a pound of browned ground beef into the spaghetti sauce (you can also add bell peppers, tomatoes, mushrooms, etc.). I also usually use shredded cheese on top instead of sliced cheese. Here are a couple of other variants that have successfully worked for me:
- Substituting alfredo sauce for the normal red spaghetti sauce, and adding chopped chicken and green peppers. Be careful here as alfredo sauce already contains parmesan cheese.
- A “skinny” version using spaghetti squash, skim milk cheese and only the egg white instead of the entire egg. Needs extra spicing over and above the slight over-spicing I recommend for the basic recipe.