Baked Spaghetti is everything you know and love about Bolognese in the form of an epic, juicy pasta bake with a bonus layer of molten cheese in the middle!
This is one of those rare foods that is a truly fabulous freezer meal and keeps for days in the fridge!
I call it a casserole, I call it a pie, I call it a pasta bake.
I actually don’t really know if there’s a proper name for this, but what I do know is this:
You are going to love it.
Because it’s everybody’s favourite Spaghetti Bolognese – PLUS CHEESE. Need I say more?? 🤷🏻♀️
So now, even if you’ve never made anything like this before, you know full well it’s going to be a home run right??
How to make it
On the face of it, you’re really just making a big batch of Bolognese Sauce then mixing it through pasta and baking it with a generous slug of cheese.
The Bolognese Sauce can be made in 30 minutes (minimum) or if you want to go all out, simmer it for a couple of hours and you’ll be rewarded with deeper flavours, a richer sauce and melt-in-your-mouth beef.
And to make the Spaghetti Pie ultra juicy, what I like to do is mix some of the sauce through the pasta and reserve some to spread on the layers.
Adding a layer of cheese slices in the middle also helps. You can use shredded if you prefer, but you get better cheese coverage using less cheese if you use slices. <– Pro cheese tip right there!
What you need
No surprises here – basically, you just need everything you use for Bolognese – plus cheese!
Carrot and celery is optional – ups the veg quota a bit but more importantly, adds to the flavour base of the sauce.
Only if needed. Many of the mainstream canned tomato brands here in Australia tend to be on the sour side rather than sweet and full of flavour as Italian ones are.
So if you’re dead set on Aussie-grown, add a touch of sugar to counteract the sourness. This can make all the difference especially if you’re doing a quick simmer rather than slow cooking!
BEST freezer meal!!
There are many recipes where I say “freezes fine”, but few where I say “freezes 100% perfectly!”
This is one of those freezer beauties. It is one of those dishes that comes out perfectly even after keeping it for months in the freezer.
And though it’s best cooked after thawing, it can even be cooked from frozen (though it does take over an hour, being a formidable block of ice that it is straight out of the freezer).
But the clincher is how smug you’ll feel, knowing you’ve got this in your freezer.
Open freezer door, plonk in oven.
– Nagi x
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Watch how to make it
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 3 garlic cloves , minced
- 1 onion , finely chopped
- 1 carrot , finely diced (optional)
- 1 stick celery , finely diced (optional)
- 750g / 1.5lb ground beef (mince)
- 3/4 cup (185ml) dry red wine (or sub with water or beef broth/stock)
- 3 beef bouillon cubes , crumbled (Note 1)
- 1.2kg / 2.4 lb crushed tomato , canned
- 1/4 cup tomato paste
- 1 - 3 tsp white sugar , if needed (Note 2)
- 2 tsp Worcestershire sauce
- 3 dried bay leaves
- 2 sprigs fresh thyme (or 1/2 tsp dried thyme or oregano)
- Salt and pepper
- 500g/ 1lb spaghetti
- 8 - 10 slices Swiss cheese (or other type), enough for a layer
- 2 cups (200g) mozzarella cheese, shredded
- Heat oil in a large, heavy based pot over medium high heat.
- Add garlic and onion, cook 2 minutes.
- Add celery and carrot, cook 3 minutes.
- Turn heat up to high, add beef and cook, breaking it up as you go.
- Once beef is brown, add wine. Simmer rapidly for 2 minutes.
- Add remaining Sauce ingredients, stir.
- Bring to simmer, lower heat, cover with lid. Simmer for 45 minutes (minimum) or 1.5 - 2 hours (best!).
- If liquid evaporates too much, add water - should be saucy (see video/pics). Adjust salt and pepper to taste.
Assemble & Bake:
- Preheat oven to 180C/350F.
- Cook pasta per packet directions, minus 1 minute.
- Drain, then return into pot.
- Add just over half the Sauce, toss.
- Spread half the pasta in a casserole pan, spread with half remaining Sauce.
- Top with cheese slices, then remaining pasta, remaining Sauce, finish with mozzarella.
- Cover loosely with foil (so cheese doesn't stick), bake 25 minutes.
- Remove foil (reserve), bake further 10 minutes than remove.
- Cover loosely with foil, stand 10 - 15 minutes. Then cut slices with a knife and use a spatula to serve pieces like lasagna!
Life of Dozer
This is what happens at dinners: wiping away a disgraceful amount of drool ALL down his front – literally!🤤