Sunday, July 15, 2018

Spend with Pennies: Spaghetti Casserole

Sometimes the best way to take care of someone is to make them dinner and take it over to their house.  And the best dinner to deliver is probably a casserole.  It's one dish, easy to heat up, and easy to clean up afterwards.  Low effort, high return.  And when it's a pile of tomatoey pasta with sausage and cheese?  Yeah, I don't have to keep convincing you.  This casserole is spaghetti taken to the next level.

Note: I used vermicelli for this casserole instead of traditional spaghetti noodles.  I find that it makes it less doughy with the thinner noodles.

Spaghetti Casserole
Adapted from Spend with Pennies blog

16 ounces dried spaghetti noodles
1 large yellow onion, chopped
4 to 6 cloves garlic, minced
1 pound sweet Italian sausage, casing removed
½ pound hot Italian sausage, casing removed
3 teaspoons dried Italian seasoning, divided use
2 (24-ounce) jars spaghetti sauce, divided use
1 (8-ounce) container ricotta cheese
1 (8-ounce) package cream cheese, at room temperature
¼ cup sour cream
3 cups shredded mozzarella, divided use
½ cup butter, cut into slices, divided use

Preheat oven to 350°F.

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Cook pasta according to package, drain well and return pasta to original pot. Add 1 jar of prepared spaghetti sauce and combine. Set aside.

In a large skillet, heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil over medium heat. Add onion and cook until it begins to soften, about 5 minutes. Add garlic, sausage, and 2 teaspoons Italian seasoning to skillet, and cook until no pink remains. Drain well. Add 1 jar of spaghetti sauce to skillet. Set aside.

In a medium mixing bowl, combine ricotta cheese, cream cheese, sour cream, 1 cup mozzarella, and 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning. Set aside.

Place half the slices of butter in a 9x13 baking dish. Spread half the spaghetti in dish, then spread cheese mixture evenly over spaghetti. Spread remaining spaghetti over cheese mixture. Top with the remaining butter slices. Pour tomato meat sauce evenly over top layer of spaghetti.

Top with remaining mozzarella and bake in preheated oven until casserole is heated through, about 35 to 45 minutes.

Makes 6 servings

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