Sunday, April 5, 2009

Spaghetti and Meatball Bake

I didn't have a recipe for this- but I'm sure I'm not the first one to do something like this. I love baked dishes, though. I had spaghetti and meatballs on the menu, but I really didn't want to do my meatballs. They are time consuming and messy. So I thought I would just make smaller meatballs and bake them (usually I brown them on the stove and then bake the rest of way in my sauce). Then I thought, wouldn't it be great to just throw all the parts for spaghetti and meatballs together and bake that? Yes, yes it would.

Baked Spaghetti and Meatballs
1 lb. ground beef
1 egg
bread crumbs
Italian seasoning
tomato sauce
heavy cream (or ricotta cheese)
mozzarella cheese
Parmesan cheese
Form the meatballs. I made them small, so they would cook fast and
they wouldn't be too big for the baking dish. Bake for 20 minutes at 375.

Set meatballs on a paper towel to drain.
In a large, deep baking dish, put in cooked spaghetti, tomato sauce, mozzarella cheese and some cream. I wanted to use ricotta, but mine was a bit fuzzy so I threw it out and poured some cream in. No real measurements, sorry friends.
Add the meatballs (I didn't use all my meatballs)
Stir together well. Add more cream or cheese or sauce to your liking.
*I'm adding cream for 2 reasons. First, sometimes casseroles dry up in the oven, and I thought the cream would help keep it moist. Second, my husband loves creamy tomato sauce.
Top with more mozzarella. Bake for 20-30 minutes on 375.
I really liked this- alot. The cream was a nice touch, the dish didn't dry up in the oven. It was creamy and cheesy. This would be a great dish for freezing.


Taryn said...

Wow- that looks fantastic. Right up my pasta loving alley!

Kathy said...

Looks great!!! Ok, I'm a recipe follower so I was wondering what is your measurements for your breadcrumbs, seasonings, and other ingredients?!?! Thanks, can't wait to hear from you!!! :o)

icook said...

Ok, Kathy, I will do my best!! I have gotten really lazy with my meatballs, and I just throw it in.
For 1 lb. ground beef-
- I put about 1/2 cup of bread crumbs in the bowl. Then I pour about 2-3 Tbsp. of milk and stir with the bread crumbs. The bread crumbs soak up the milk so they won't dry out the meatballs.
- add the beef
- one egg
- season the meat with salt and pepper
- I love Mrs. Dash Garlic and Herb seasoning, so if I have that, I put about a Tbsp. in
That's it!! Those are my basic, easy, fast meatballs. You can also saute onions and add those if you like.
I ended up using a whole recipe of sauce for that meatball bake, 2 cups of mozzarella, and probably 1/2 cup or so of cream.
I didn't use the whole package of pasta. I cooked it all, and used about half of it for the dish.
I hope this helps!! That particular recipe was a making-it-up-as-I-go thing, so that is why I didn't have measurements.
Thanks for your comments!!

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