Here's another make ahead dish for my canning days. Because our kitchen is so small, I really do take up the entire kitchen and every inch of space in it, and then some, for my canning projects. Except I leave a small, clear path to the microwave. So when Pritchard Parker comes home from work hungry, it is easy to get him a meal quickly.
I do the same thing in December when I turn my kitchen into a bakery. I would take a picture of it but I would be too embarrassed for you to see it. It would remind you of one of those hoarders you see on TV. (Maybe I exaggerate a little).
I made only slight changes to the recipe you can find on Paula Deen's website, the main one being the fact that I did not use her branded seasoning concoctions, of which she calls for three. Also I altered the sauce cooking instructions slightly.
Paula Deen's Baked Spaghetti
1 1/2 lbs. ground beef
1/2 cup diced onion
1/2 cup diced green bell pepper
2 - 3 cloves minced garlic
2 cups canned diced tomatoes
2 cups tomato sauce
1 cup water (I sloshed the tomato cans with water to make this amount)
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
2 Tbsp. chopped fresh basil
1 Tbsp. chopped fresh oregano
2 tsp. sugar
1/2 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes
2 small bay leaves
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
8 oz. thin spaghetti
4 oz. sharp cheddar cheese
4 oz. Monterey Jack cheese
In a large pot, brown hamburger meat, stirring and breaking up, until no longer pink. Drain away excess fat. Add onions and bell pepper to the meat, cooking and stirring until the vegetables begin to soften. Add the garlic and stir for a few seconds longer.
Add the tomatoes, tomato sauce, and the water to the meat mixture and stir well. Add in all the herbs and spices. Let the sauce simmer, uncovered, stirring occasionally, for about 30 minutes.
Meanwhile, grate the cheeses and cook the pasta according to package directions. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
To assemble, cover the bottom of a 9x13 inch baking dish with sauce. Add a layer of pasta and a little less than half each of the cheeses. Repeat the layers, ending with the sauce. Bake for 30 minutes. Top the spaghetti with the remaining cheese and continue to cook for about 5 more minutes, until the cheese is melted and bubbly.