The cold New England weather has me searching for comfort food recipes. I ran across this recipe from the Betty Crocker site in my to-try file, but I had no heavy cream. I had half and half, and joked in an online group whether that would make it Half Million Dollar Spaghetti Casserole. I ended up needing some other things at the store, and grabbed the heavy cream, though I don't think it would have made a huge difference.
I changed up a few things to my family's tastes. First, I used Penzey's Italian Herb mix in the egg/cheese mixture instead of fresh parsley. We aren't cottage cheese fans, so went with part skim ricotta, and added some of the Italian Herb mix to it. For the ground beef mixture, I browned it with some minced dried onion. I added some basil and garlic powder along with the sauce and heavy cream.
This is incredibly filling and even with all of us having generous portions, there is a lot left. I'm not sure how it will freeze, but I am going to give it a try and defrost it for lunch next week.
* Exported from MasterCook *
Million-Dollar Spaghetti Casserole
Amount Measure Ingredient -- Preparation Method
-------- ------------ --------------------------------
1 lb uncooked spaghetti
1 T Italian Herb mix
1/2 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
1 stick butter -- cut into cubes
1 container ricotta -- (8 oz)
1 package cream cheese -- (8 oz) softened
1 t Italian Herb mix
1 lb ground beef -- 85%
1 T minced dried onion
1 t dried basil
1 t garlic powder
1 jar ragu' traditional spaghetti sauce
1/4 cup heavy whipping cream
8 oz mozzarella cheese -- shredded
Dried basil for garnish
Preheat your oven to 350. Spray a 13x9 baking dish with nonstick cooking spray. Place on top of a baking sheet. Cook the pasta according to package directions for an al dente texture. While it's cooking, combine eggs, Italian Herb Mix and parmesan cheese with a whisk in a medium bowl. Drain the pasta well, then return it to the pot. Stir in the butter and egg mixture into the warm spaghetti, moving quickly to make sure it's nicely coated (I left the heat on low). Pour into the baking dish. Add the ricotta, cream cheese and Italian Herb mix to the still warm pot, and stir until well combined. Pour over the spaghetti, spreading it to cover all of the pasta.
Over medium heat, brown your beef with the minced onion, breaking it up and cooking until no longer pink. Drain. Return to heat, add sauce, basil, garlic powder and heavy cream. Spread on top of the cheese layer. Sprinkle a nice layer of mozzarella on top.
Bake 30 to 45 mins, until the cheese is melted and browned. Remove from oven and let sit about 5 to 10 minutes before serving. Garnish with additional basil if desired.