Tis the season for holiday feasts and fun, and nothing says celebration like a delicious party tray. Whether it’s in the company of intimate family or your most extensive of friend lists, great food is almost always equal to great memories. And for any classic Filipino celebration, a good pasta definitely has to be one of the meals on your list. Going the pasta route can lead you several different ways: do you prefer spaghetti or carbonara? Mac and cheese or lasagna? No matter your preference, though, this baked spaghetti will win over loved ones young and old—that’s our guarantee!
Everyone loves a good spaghetti. Bring up the idea of a nice bowl of pasta and I’m sure it’ll be a bowl of spaghetti that comes to mind. The delicious, vibrant tomato sauce pairs perfectly with your hearty ground beef. And of course, the gooey, salty cheese cuts through all of those rich flavors. This baked spaghetti doesn’t take away any of the things you love about regular spaghetti; in fact, it amplifies it! Taking regular spaghetti, topping it with mozzarella, and baking it until a gorgeous golden elevates your dish to a whole other level. And during the holidays, there’s no better time to go big or go home!
Baked spaghetti is essentially a cross between your classic baked macaroni and another beloved treat: Pinoy spaghetti. The combination of sweet and savory is one that appeals to almost everyone. Letting your pasta bake in the oven really infuses and harmonizes all those flavors together. An effective way to really get all those flavors to mix is to cover it with a layer of aluminum foil before baking. This also makes your baked spaghetti cook a little faster, resulting in that warm, bubbly deliciousness you won’t be able to take your eyes off.
What can I pair with baked spaghetti?
No matter how big a tray of baked spaghetti you’ll make, we’re sure that your family will finish it in no time. While it’s always nice to know people appreciate your cooking, you might want to make sure it’s not the only thing you’ll serve. After all, people might go hungry and demand more if they find out how divine your dishes can be!
Luckily, we’ve been to enough Filipino parties in our lifetime to know what goes well with a baked spaghetti. These dishes are no fuss and no frills when it comes to cooking them, but still enticing enough to engage all your senses. Here are a few of the perfect companions to a delicious baked spaghetti:
Warm, light, but also insanely flavorful, garlic bread has been the companion to any pasta for as long as time immemorial. This dish barely needs any ingredients apart from the two that make up its name. The addition of parmesan cheese, butter, and parsley flakes add to an already delicious bread that you could honestly enjoy as a standalone snack. Your baked spaghetti will pair perfectly with these tasty slices of bread—just make sure to leave room for dessert!
Crispy Fried Chicken
Chicken and spaghetti—could there be a more winning combination? We certainly don’t think so. Something about enjoying a delicious, crispy on the outside, tender on the inside chicken with your baked spaghetti is just so reminiscent of all the birthday parties we went to as kids. But we shouldn’t limit our enjoyment of this dish by age — especially when it’s so delicious! A gorgeous batter and tender chicken meat are what make this crispy fried chicken one of the best dishes around.
How to Make Baked Spaghetti
The component you’ll have to pay the most attention to in this baked spaghetti is, without question, the sauce. The sauce has the most ingredients, and it also takes almost as much time to cook as your actual baking does. Here, all the different flavors of your baked spaghetti will come to life. Making your sauce from scratch really brings it to the next level.
After you’ve cooked your spaghetti based on package instructions, you can start making your baked spaghetti sauce. Brown your pound of ground beef in a pan until you’ve rendered the fat entirely. Separate the oil from the meat using a colander or sieve, as we don’t want that additional sebo creeping in. However, it’s helpful to leave around 2 tablespoons of oil for sautéing, which you will put back in the pan immediately.
Satué your garlic and onion pieces before adding your ground beef back into the pan. For about 3 minutes, continue to sauté before your tomatoes — both the diced and sauce versions — go in next. This will cook for about 2 minutes, after which you’ll add a teaspoon of Italian seasoning. Toss in a Knorr Beef Cube for that extra oomph of flavor, stir, then cover your pan. Bring your heat down low, then continue cooking for about 25 minutes. Add some water if necessary, then season with salt and ground black pepper to taste.
When your sauce is done cooking, arrange your spaghetti in a baking pan and coat it with your baked spaghetti sauce. Toss them together, making sure that you’ve coated your pasta evenly. This is important so as to let the flavors really seep through while in the oven. When you’re happy with the distribution, top your pasta with half a pound of mozzarella, then pop it in the oven at 350F. Let your baked spaghetti bake for about 30 minutes. When done, serve your baked spaghetti hot, and alongside any side dish of your choice.
For pasta lovers of any age, baked spaghetti is sure to bring out the ultimate joy. Let us know what you and your family think of this tasty treat!
- 1/2 lb spaghetti
- 1/2 lb. mozzarella cheese
- 4 ounces quick melt cheese
- 1 1/2 teaspoons parsley chopped
- Cook spaghetti based on package instructions. Set aside.
- Make the sauce by browning the ground beef in a pan until beef fat gets rendered. Separate the oil from the meat using a sieve or colander. Note: leave around 2 tablespoons of oil for sauteing.
- Heat remaining oil in the pan and then saute garlic and onion.
- Add the ground beef back into the pan and saute for 3 minutes.
- Pour diced tomato and tomato sauce into the pan. Cook for 2 minutes.
- Add Italian seasoning and Knorr Beef Cube. Stir and cover the pan. Adjust heat to low setting and continue cooking for 25 minutes. Note: add water if needed. Season with salt and ground black pepper.
- Combine spaghetti and sauce. Toss until all ingredients are well distributed. Arrange the mixture on a baking pan and top with mozzarella. Bake at 350F for 30 minutes.
- Serve with buttered toast or garlic bread.
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