I'd never had baked spaghetti until last weekend, when we attended a friend's event & someone brought it as a potluck contribution. I had seconds THAT day, and set out to find a recipe so I could make it at home. Found one online @ Cooks.com, but there were some issues. To begin with, the first ingredient was not to be found in the grocery store. So....after careful deliberation, I substituted something else. Secondly, there weren't ANY spices in the original recipe. Hello....Italian means spice, in my world.
Below is my version. I must say, this would definitely appeal to most kids! It's topped w/Pepperoni, and what kid doesn't like Pepperoni!? Doug doesn't...but that's another story. I ate his. And mine. This is also ridiculously simple to make. I hope you'll try it and let me know if you have a different version of this dish. Who knows, maybe I'll incorporate some of your tips into this recipe, making it that much better!
Baked Deep-Dish Spaghetti
1 pkg. Banquet Homestyle Bakes (Pasta & Meatballs in Marinara Sauce version) ***Side note: I NEVER buy these boxed dinners. While still not a fan, there IS a time & place for "semi-homemade". Oh, I also tossed their pasta aside, and used spaghetti versus macaroni or whatever it was
2 cans (15 oz. each) Marinara or Spaghetti sauce w/meat (the above kit includes these 2 cans)
1 can drained mushrooms
1 lb. ground beef
1/2 C chopped onion
1 C chopped bell pepper
**Here's what I added, & I didn't measure...but I'd say around 2 tsp. each: Basil & Oregano, 1 tsp. salt and 1 tsp. onion powder.
2 C shredded Mozzarella cheese
2 C shredded Monterey Jack cheese
1 pkg. Pepperoni slices
Cook Spaghetti and drain. Cook hamburger, onion and pepper together and drain. Add canned Marinara sauce and canned mushrooms from the boxed dinner.
Simmer 5 minutes. Mix spaghetti and meat sauce. Layer 1/2 of the spaghetti mixture, 1/2 of the cheese (include the cheese from the boxed dinner). Add remaining layer of spaghetti and cheeses. Top with pepperoni.
Bake at 350 degrees until cheese melts and pepperoni is lightly browned, about 30-45 minutes.
Makes 6-8 servings