I love, love, love pasta. Any shape, any size and any sauce. In particular I love the components of lasagna and its layers of flavor. Since true lasagna (which does not include Barilla’s no cook noodles according to my hubby) is not an easy endeavor to pull off on a weeknight: cue the baked spaghetti!
This recipe is one of my winter staples since it is both fast and husband-approved. Although, in the interest of full disclosure I should point out that a crucial ingredient is missing from this version of the recipe – pepperoni. Normally pepperoni would be the final ingredient, added to the cheesy top layer, but alas I forgot to add it to my shopping list which means I forgot to add it to my shopping cart. So in truth this is the 90% husband approved version.
Here is our staring line-up in order of appearance…ground beef, red bell pepper, spaghetti, jarred tomato sauce, roasted red pepper flakes, cottage cheese, egg, and pepper jack cheese.
Plus! My secret-weapon, spaghetti sauce ingredient…drum roll please…
Trust this gem with only your closest friends.
Start by bringing your pasta water to a boil while you brown your ground beef and soften your red bell pepper in a non-stick skillet. When your water is boiling add your spaghetti and cook according to package directions.
Drain your pasta and pour it into a pie plate that has been greased with cooking spray. Spread out your pasta so that it fits up the sides of the pie plate. Also drain the fat from your browned meat and softened bell pepper.
Add the jarred sauce, Worcestershire sauce and drained meat mixture back into the skillet and simmer for a few minutes.
Meanwhile, mix your cottage cheese and egg in a small bowl before spreading it over top of your pasta.
Add your simmered sauce mixture to your pie and top with the pepper jack cheese. (Next would come the pepperoni if you opt for the pizza version of baked spaghetti).
Bake for 20 – 25 minutes at 350 degrees until the cheese browns as it would on a pizza.
- 4 oz spaghetti noodles
- 1 lb. ground beef
- 1 red bell pepper, chopped into ¼ inch pieces
- 1 jar spaghetti sauce (14 - 16 oz)
- 1 tsp. red pepper flakes (optional)
- 1 cup cottage cheese (small curd)
- 1 egg
- ½ cup pepper jack cheese
- 1 TB Worcestershire sauce
- Pepperoni (optional)
- Bring pasta water to a boil, add pasta and cook according to package directions.
- Meanwhile, brown ground beef and red bell pepper in a non-stick skillet.
- Drain fat from the ground beef and return to skillet.
- Add jarred spaghetti sauce, red pepper flakes and Worcestershire sauce to the meat mixture. Simmer for a few minutes.
- Drain pasta and add it to a pie plate that has been greased with cooking spray. Spread pasta so that it covers the bottom and sides of the pie plate.
- Mix cottage cheese and egg together in a small bowl. Spread evenly over pasta layer.
- Add spaghetti sauce mixture to the pie plate.
- Top with pepper jack cheese and pepperoni.
- Bake for 20 - 25 minutes.
- Rest for 5 minutes, slice and enjoy!