Baked Spaghetti Recipe


INGREDIENTS


Cooking spray

16 ounces dried spaghetti, such as Barilla

1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt, divided

1 tablespoon olive oil


1 pound lean ground beef

1 (24-ounce) jar marinara sauce

1 (15-ounce) container full-fat ricotta cheese


1 teaspoon dried Italian seasoning

1 clove garlic, minced

2 large eggs


1/2 cup finely grated Parmesan cheese (about 3 ounces)

4 cups shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese (16 ounces)

Chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves, for serving (optional)


INSTRUCTIONS

Grease a baking dish and heat the oven. Arrange a rack in the middle of the oven and heat to 350°F. Coat a 9x13-inch baking dish with cooking spray. Meanwhile, bring a large pot of water to a boil.

Cook the pasta. Add the spaghetti and 1 teaspoon of the salt. Cook according to package directions until the spaghetti is al dente, 8 to 10 minutes. Meanwhile, make the sauce.

Brown the beef and make the sauce. Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium heat until shimmering. Add the beef and use a stiff spatula to break it up into large pieces. Season with the remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt and let the meat brown undisturbed 4 to 5 minutes. Break the meat up into smaller pieces with the spatula and continue to cook until the beef is mostly browned with no pink showing, 2 to 3 minutes more. Remove from the heat and stir in the marinara.

Drain the pasta and cool slightly. When the pasta is ready, drain but do not rinse. Let cool for 5 minutes, just long enough to prevent the eggs from scrambling.

Make the ricotta layer. While the pasta is cooling, stir the ricotta, Italian seasoning, and garlic together in a small bowl.

Whisk together the egg and Parmesan cheese. Place the eggs and Parmesan cheese in a large bowl and whisk to combine. Add the drained and cooled spaghetti and toss to coat.

Layer the spaghetti, ricotta mixture, meat sauce, and mozzarella. Place 1/2 of the pasta mixture in the baking dish in an even layer. Dollop with 1/2 of the ricotta mixture, then spread with a spatula. Spoon 1/2 of the meat sauce over the ricotta, then sprinkle with 1/2 of the cheese. Repeat the layers with the remaining ingredients.

Bake covered 30 minutes, then 10 to 15 minutes uncovered. Cover the dish tightly with aluminum foil. Bake for 30 minutes. Uncover and cook until the edges are bubbling and the cheese is melted and browned in spots, 10 to 15 minutes more. Garnish with fresh parsley, if desired. Let cool 5 minutes before cutting and serving.

RECIPE NOTES

Storage: Leftovers can be refrigerated in an airtight container for up to 4 days.