September 21, 2009

Baked Spaghetti


Ingredients:
1 lb spaghetti
28 oz canned crushed or ground tomatoes
28 oz canned diced tomatoes
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 small to medium carrots, diced
1 jarred whole pimiento, diced
1 onion, diced
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon basil, finely chopped
1 tablespoon oregano, finely chopped
1 tablespoon Italian parsley, finely chopped
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
1 tablespoon tomato paste


bread crumbs
grated Parmesan

Directions:
Preheat oven to 350. If you'd like, break the spaghetti in half. Cook the spaghetti according to package instructions until just barely al dente. Drain and set aside. In a large skillet, heat the olive oil. Add the onions and carrots. Saute over low heat until the onions are translucent. Add the garlic and pimiento. Saute until fragrant. Add the tomatoes and herbs and cook, stirring occasionally, on low until it thickens-about 10 minutes. Stir in the spaghetti. Pour into a olive oiled casserole dish. Sprinkle with bread crumbs and Parmesan. Bake covered for 15 minutes then uncovered for an additional 10 or until piping hot.

Yield: about 6 servings

My thoughts:
Although I am no stranger to baked pasta dishes, baked spaghetti was never on my radar until I began noticing it being made on several British television shows. Not cooking shows, just regular dramas. Invariably, someone would be pulling out a casserole of baked spaghetti at some point during the series. I honestly don't know if this is some sort of typical British dish (my research turned up nothing definitive) but after seeing it for the fifth or sixth time, it really started to look good. I am actually not a fan of spaghetti, preferring other pasta shapes, but when baked it takes on a different texture and sticks together in away that I enjoyed more than the usual worm-like slippery strands. Of course I have no way of knowing what went into those TV casseroles but I do know that this is one tasty pasta bake. The balsamic vinegar adds a fruitiness that complements the the touch of sweetness that the carrot and pimiento lend, which in turn melds with the herbs and tomato to create an complex tastying yet easy and totally comforting sauce. Perfect for those first chilly nights of fall.


13 comments:

  1. This looks and sounds delicious! If I have the time tomorrow (or today, Monday), I will definitely be making this for dinner! I love pasta dishes of all varieties, and have been craving something like
    baked ziti for a while now. Thanks!

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  2. Sounds like a good winter dish that would fill the house with wonderful aromas and warm.

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  3. This looks fabulous! How many servings do you think it makes?

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  4. It's a well loved dish here in the UK, especially for kids.

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  5. I think baked pasta is a great Fall dish. Thanks for posting!
    I noticed there was spinach in the prep instructions but not the ingredient list. Just an fyi...

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  6. Your recipe sounds delicious. I tried to make this ~15 years ago, when I was 12/13, but the recipe I found called for eggs, and something went wrong I was sick and haven't been able to make it since!! But yours sounds way better than the one I tried and its sans eggs! Thanks for sharing this with us! I will have to try it soon!

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  7. Sounds so good and so easy! I haven't had baked spaghetti and years. This sounds so effortless, but looks great.

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  8. It's funny, but I've never made baked spaghetti, and I have made a LOT of baked pasta dishes. Maybe the Brits are on to something.

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  9. Looks great, it resembles spaghetti pie I think, minus the eggs. So comforting, I like the addition of the balsamic vinegar.

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  10. I always make baked spaghetti with what's left after a spaghetti dinner. I top it with some kind of cheese. So homey!

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  11. I can solve the riddle of baked spaghetti for you! I've lived in England, and though it's a cliche to say this, it really is a different type of society than ours. A regular sized all purpose grocery store in a small-to-medium sized village will generally be about the size of a convenience store here. You don't get 50 different shapes of pasta-you get ONE. When they have so little space, it has to be something that appeals to the majority. There are big grocery stores like ours, with big selections and varieties, but they're usually in larger cities and are a bus ride away-a large percentage of the population don't have cars. So when it's so inconvenient to find other shapes and types, they usually don't bother, they make do with what they have.

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  12. This is a great recipe. I'll make sure to give it a go very soon.

    Thanks for the inspiration!

    // Mike

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  13. Making this for the second time tonight. Hope it is as delicious as the first time.

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