A Happy Accident

I had a particular recipe in mind to post this week — I even had some nice pictures to accompany that post. This post, however, is NOT that recipe; instead it is a happy accident of a recipe. (I’ll save the other recipe for another day). 🙂

This evening’s dinner was spaghetti with zoodles (zucchini noodles) — I know, I know there’s nothing new about that, I’ve posted it before. My hubby & I always enjoy spaghetti, but the zoodles are always a bit too soggy (especially for the hubby)–no matter how much I try to squeeze liquid from the cooked zucchini, they’re still soggy. When making tonight’s dinner, I decided to turn this dish into baked spaghetti instead of serving it as traditional spaghetti. This decision, my friends, was pure GENIUS! The way the cheeses & meat sauce incorporated and baked with the zoodles reduced the liquid & the zoodles tasted like traditional pasta (seriously).

Below you’ll find my meat sauce recipe & the procedures for creating this simple baked spaghetti & zoodles dish.

Baked Spaghetti & Zoodles

Meat Sauce Ingredients:
1 pound ground chuck
*1 large diced onion
*1 clove finely diced garlic (this really depends on your garlic preference)
*1 large green pepper diced
*1 Teaspoon Extra Virgin Olive Oil
*1 cup sliced Baby Bella mushrooms (you may use fresh or can, I prefer fresh)
*1 28oz. can of crushed tomatoes
*1 6oz. can of tomato paste
*1 Tablespoon of Italian seasoning
*1/4 cup of grated Parmesan cheese
*Salt & pepper to taste (I don’t add any salt as the Parmesan adds saltiness to the sauce)

How to:

  1. Add olive oil to a large skillet on medium heat.
  2. Add onions, green peppers, & garlic–allow to cook until onions are translucent.
  3. Add ground chuck & allow to brown completely.
  4. Next, add tomato paste, stir until paste is well incorporated.
  5. Add crushed tomatoes.
  6. Add baby Bellas, Italian seasoning, grated Parmesan, salt & pepper.
  7. Allow the sauce to simmer (however long possible).

The Baked Spaghetti How to:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Slice 4 or 5 nice sized zucchini into noodles (I use my Spirelli Spiral Slicer for this task).
  3. Steam zoodles (zucchini noodles) in the microwave about 10 minutes.
  4. Spray an 8-cup baking dish with nonstick cooking spray.
  5. Spoon a small bit of meat sauce into the bottom of the dish (just to lightly cover) & spread.
  6. Pour zoodles into dish & spread evenly.
  7. Sprinkle a layer of mozzarella cheese & Parmesan over the zoodles.
  8. Pour meat sauce over cheese.
  9. Top with a final layer of mozzarella & parmesan cheeses.
  10. Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes (until the top is golden brown & bubbly).
  11. Sprinkle with fresh parsley, parmesan & red pepper flakes (if you’re into that).
  12. Serve & enjoy! 😀

As I said earlier, I had no intentions of posting this recipe when I was creating it this evening, so I don’t have a great, blog-ready photo. I do, however, have the picture I added to my Meallogger food journal; so for now, that photo will have to do until I make this recipe again (which will be soon) & take a better quality photo.



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