Recipe of the Week: Spaghetti Casserole, by L.H.

This is a flavorful, simple, and inexpensive casserole for any occasion where you’d like to provide a meal to someone in need, such as when there’s a new baby, or a medical or condolence call. I like to make it in a disposable aluminum pan, approximately 10” x 12” in size, so that the recipient doesn’t have to be concerned with returning a dish, and I deliver it with a loaf of store-bought French bread on top. Voila! It’s a complete and comforting meal for the family. It also freezes well (along with the bread, too), if it’s not needed immediately. I usually deliver it uncooked with directions for both immediate baking and also for freezing and baking later.

Ingredients

  • 1 lb. ground beef or bulk sausage
  • 2 Tbsp. butter
  • 1 c. chopped onion
  • 1 c. chopped green pepper
  • 2 cans (14.5 oz. ea.) diced tomatoes, undrained
  • 1 can (4 oz.) mushroom stems and pieces, drained
  • 1 can (4 oz.) sliced black olives, drained
  • 1 Tbsp. Italian seasoning
  • 1 lb. spaghetti pasta
  • 2 c. (8 oz.) shredded cheddar cheese
  • 1 can (10.75 oz.) cream of mushroom soup
  • 1/3 c. water, more or less
  • 1/4 c. grated Parmesan cheese
  • non-stick cooking spray

Directions

  1. In large skillet, cook and crumble beef or sausage; drain grease and remove meat from pan.
  2. In same skillet, melt butter over medium heat and sauté onion and green pepper until softened (about 3-4 minutes).
  3. Add tomatoes, mushrooms, olives, seasoning, and reserved meat.
  4. Simmer uncovered 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  5. Meanwhile, cook spaghetti pasta, according to package directions to al dente and drain.
  6. Spray 9″x13″ (or aforementioned 10″x12″ disposable) casserole dish.
  7. Spread half the spaghetti over the dish; top with half the tomato mixture and then half the cheddar cheese. Repeat layers.
  8. In small mixing bowl, whisk together the soup with just enough water, a little at a time, to make it where it can be poured.
  9. Drizzle soup mixture over casserole.
  10. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese.
  11. If delivering, wrap tightly with foil and refrigerate. If serving, bake uncovered at 350 degrees for 35-45 minutes or till hot and bubbly. If not cooking immediately, wrap tightly and freeze; then thaw and bake as directed above.e

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