Monday, March 7, 2011

On Top of Spaghetti

When Mom and Dad were here this past weekend, I made dinner on Saturday night, spaghetti casserole, beer bread, corn and raspberries-on-the-bottom cake.  I love casseroles so much; I make the same ones over and over again in phases but I never grow tired of them.  Most of the time, I don't make totally-from-scratch-spaghetti-sauce for this, so don't think of me as a cheater.  Sometimes I feel like there's just not enough time in the day, but if there were more than 24, I'd be exhausted!

Without further ado, I present to you my broccoli-spaghetti casserole recipe.  Most of the time I make mine in a 13" x 9" Pyrex dish, but on Saturday I made it using my dutch oven on the stove top and it was awesome.  The great thing about this recipe is that it can be prepared in ADVANCE, how wonderful is that!  I made the sauce and cooked the noodles on Thursday night last week, stored them separate in the fridge and combined them and added the cheese while my bread was baking before dinner on Saturday!

R.'s Broccoli Spaghetti Casserole
1 lb. ground beef
1/2 t. minced garlic
2 jars Bertolli Organic Tomato and Basil pasta sauce
2 T. olive oil
2 T. Cabernet Sauvignon (or your favorite red wine; I use whatever is open but Cab. Sauv. is my favorite)
1 bag frozen Steamfresh broccoli florets
Thin spaghetti (I like to use linguine, too)
1 1/2 c. shredded mozzarella cheese

Brown the ground beef in a dutch oven over medium heat; use a baster to remove the fat.  Add garlic and let simmer for about 1 minute.  Add both cans of pasta sauce and stir in olive oil, then stir in Cabernet Sauvignon.  Add frozen broccoli to the sauce; cover sauce and simmer for 30 minutes.

While the sauce is simmering, cook your spaghetti noodles (you'll need about half the box for this recipe, depending on the sauce-to-noodle ratio you like) according to the package directions.  Drain and rinse.  Incorporate the desired amount of cooked noodles into the sauce in the dutch oven, then top with mozzarella cheese and cover until cheese is melted, or you can pop it into the oven at 350 degrees F for about 15-20 minutes (or until cheese is brown).  I did mine on the stove top because I was baking some beer bread in my oven, which only houses one rack.  Try it out and let me know what you think!

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