Baked Spaghetti

This mash-up of lasagna and spaghetti with meat sauce makes for a warming one-pan dinner. (And if you start with leftover cooked noodles and meat sauce, you're set for a super-fast weeknight meal.) Assemble the casserole ahead of time and bake when you're ready to serve.
  • Level: Intermediate
  • Total: 1 hr 55 min
  • Prep: 10 min
  • Inactive: 20 min
  • Cook: 1 hr 25 min
  • Yield: 6 servings
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Ingredients

Kosher salt

1 1/2 pounds ground beef chuck

Freshly ground black pepper

1 large onion, diced (about 2 cups)

1 red bell pepper, stemmed, seeded and diced (about 1 cup)

4 cloves garlic, finely chopped

One 28-ounce can crushed tomatoes

One 14.5-ounce can diced tomatoes

2 teaspoons sugar

1/4 teaspoon dried oregano

8 ounces thin spaghetti

8 ounces sharp Cheddar, grated (about 2 cups)

1/4 cup fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves, finely chopped

Directions

  1. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil.
  2. Heat a second large pot over medium-high heat. Add the beef, 1/2 teaspoon salt and a few grinds of pepper and cook, stirring to break the meat up, until browned, about 4 minutes. Add the onions, bell peppers, garlic and a generous pinch of salt and pepper and cook, stirring occasionally, until tender, about 10 minutes. Stir in the crushed and diced tomatoes, sugar and oregano and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to simmer and cook, stirring occasionally, until thickened, about 30 minutes.
  3. Meanwhile, cook the spaghetti for 2 minutes less than the time indicated in the package directions. Strain well. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
  4. Cover the bottom of a 13-by-9-by-2-inch pan with a third of the sauce. Add half the pasta and a third of the Cheddar; repeat the layers and add the last of the sauce; reserve the last of the Cheddar.
  5. Bake for 30 minutes. Top with the remaining Cheddar and continue baking until it melts and the sauce bubbles, about 5 more minutes. Let cool in the dish for at least 10 minutes. Garnish with the parsley before cutting into squares.

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