Baked Spaghetti

So baked spaghetti. Is that a thing? I see it’s evidently a thing for plenty of people; I see recipes for it all over the place. But it’s never a type of pasta I ever thought to bake, and I never grew up having spaghetti as a baked pasta. But why not? It’s good! Why limit your pasta baking to the zitis and the lasagnas of this world?

Oh, and unlike my recent history, this is decidedly NOT vegan. For one thing there’s meat in it, which could presumably be omitted or replaced by something that claims to approximate meat, but also, and crucially, it’s got melty cheese all over it and within it. And I just don’t believe in the powers of faux-cheese. Maybe you do. If so, go nuts with it, maybe it won’t be gross this time.

This recipe comes from How Sweet It Is, and I halved it, but I also had to throw some dried basil in there, because apparently the calamitous basil shortage I’ve had to contend with at my grocery store is still ongoing.

Baked Spaghetti

a handful of spaghetti; I used maybe not quite enough for 2 people because there was going to be the meat and cheese situation as well
1/2 a small onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 tbsp olive oil
2/3 lb ground beef
1 cup pasta sauce (if you’re that kind of ambitious person who has a bunch of homemade sauce sitting in the freezer, awesome; if you’re me, just go to the store and get the kind in a jar, it’s fiiiiine)
1/2 cup shredded mozzarella
1/4 cup parmesan
salt and pepper

Preheat oven to 350.
Put the pasta on to cook, but under-do it by a minute or two.
Heat the oil in a skillet.
Saute the onion for about 5 minutes.
Add the garlic and continue sauteeing another minute.
Throw in the beef and sprinkle it with salt and pepper, and cook it until it’s browned, breaking it up as it cooks.
Stir in 1/2 cup of the pasta sauce and chuck in some basil as well.
Remove from the heat and toss the drained spaghetti through the sauce.
Cooking-spray a casserole dish of the right size.
Scoop half of the spaghetti into the dish.
Pour the other 1/2 cup of pasta sauce on top.
Sprinkle half of each cheese over the top. Except I accidentally forgot to halve the parmesan. I promise this wasn’t “accidentally on purpose,” but I’m certainly not complaining.
Pop the other half of the spaghetti mixture on top.
Cover over with the rest of the cheese.
Bake, uncovered, for 20 minutes, or until cheese is bubbly and browning.

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