Tuesday, May 03, 2005

Spaghetti Bake

Spaghetti Bake (Adapted from Canadian Living)

8 ounces dry whole wheat spaghetti
2 ounces fresh grated Parmesan cheese, divided

For the meat sauce

1 tablespoon olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon dried basil
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
16 ounces ground sirlion
2 cups sliced mushrooms
2 carrots, grated
2 small to medium zucchini, grated
1 medium red bell pepper, diced
28 ounce can fire-roasted tomatoes, chopped
5 tablespoons tomato paste
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar

For the cheese sauce

2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons flour
1 cup milk
pinch fresh grated nutmeg
1 cup ricotta cheese
1 egg, lightly beaten
1/8 teaspoon salt

Measure out spaghetti and cheese - set aside.

To make the meat sauce

In a large saucepan, heat oil over medium-high. Add onion, garlic, oregano, basil and thyme - cook until the onions have softened, about 4 minutes. Stir in ground sirlion and cook, breaking up with spoon, until no longer pink, about 5 minutes.

Stir in mushrooms, carrots, zucchini and red bell pepper - cook until the liquid evaporates, about 5 minutes. Mix in tomatoes, tomato paste, salt and pepper - bring to boil. Reduce heat and let the mixture simmer until most of the liquid evaporates, about 30 to 35 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in 1 ounce grated Parmesan cheese and vinegar.

To make the cheese sauce

In a medium saucepan, melt butter over medium heat. Whisk in flour - cook for 1 minute while constantly whisking. Add thin slow stream, whisking constantly, until smooth, Cook until boiling and thickened while keeping the mixture moving - about 2 to 4 minutes. Mix in nutmeg. Pour mixture into a bowl and let sit for 10 minutes. Add in ricotta, egg and salt - mix until combined.

In large pot of boiling salted water, add spaghetti and cook until almost tender - just about 5 minutes. Thoroughly drain and toss with the cooked beef sauce.

Lightly coat a 9 x 13 " baking dish with nonstick spray. Evenly spread spaghetti mixture into the pan and spoon the cheese sauce over the top. Scatter the remaining 1 ounce of Parmesan cheese on top.

Bake until bubbly and golden - about 40 minutes. Let sit at least 5 or 10 minutes before serving.
Makes about 8 servings.

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  1. How many cans of fire-roasted tomatoes should be used?

  2. Anonymous -

    It is a single 28 ounce can