When the onions were younger, I made half-batches of this all the time because when I’d make spaghetti, we always had leftovers. Now that they’re bigger, they eat more so I rarely have leftover anything. As a matter of fact, we’re now in that zone where I often don’t have enough of whatever weeknight meal I've made and I end up eating a kid-sized portion to make it stretch (not that I couldn't stand some breathing room at the trough).
Anyway, it’d been a long time since I’d made one of these so I decided to make it for supper this weekend. And because the onions apparently have the memory of a gnat, they couldn't remember ever having it and thought it was something new and special and got all excited about it. Suckers.
I think this is a cross between spaghetti and lasagna. A spaghagna, if you will. Or spasagna. Or whatever. Let’s just call it baked spaghetti. Because that’s easier to say and doesn't make my head hurt.
1 pound ground beef (I sometimes use Italian sausage too)
1 small onion, diced
Salt and pepper (omit if using Italian sausage)
1 24-oz. jar prepared spaghetti sauce
1 cup ricotta cheese
1 egg, beaten
2 tablespoons milk
1/3 cup parmesan cheese
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon oregano or Italian seasoning blend
8 ounces uncooked spaghetti noodles, broken in half
8 ounces mozzarella cheese, shredded (about 2 cups)
Cook ground beef with onion in a large skillet over medium-high heat until meat is cooked through, seasoning with salt and pepper to taste. Drain off fat then stir in spaghetti sauce; set aside.
Combine ricotta cheese, egg, milk, parmesan, salt, garlic and oregano in a large bowl and stir well; set aside.
Meanwhile, cook spaghetti per manufacturer’s instructions for al dente preparation in liberally salted water. I break the uncooked noodles in half to make things easier to prepare and serve later. Drain pasta well and add to ricotta mixture; stir to combine.
Spray a 13x9 baking dish with cooking spray then spread pasta mixture evenly over bottom of dish. Top pasta evenly with meat mixture. Top meat mixture evenly with mozzarella cheese. Bake, uncovered, for 30-45 minutes at 350 degrees or until bubbly and cheese starts to brown.