It’s Thursday which typically means it’s time for CEiMB, but don’t be fooled: Baked Spaghetti is not the CEiMB recipe of the week. In fact Supplicious chose Aromatic Noodles with Lime Peanut Sauce for this week’s CEiMB pick. What does Aromatic Noodles with Lime Peanut Sauce have in common with Baked Spaghetti? Pretty much nothing.
I was really looking forward to making this week’s recipe as it is very well reviewed on Food Network and by the CEiMBers who have made it before. I made something similar, Asian Vegetable Pasta, several months ago and was curious to see what this different take on that dish would be like. Unfortunately, life got in the way, and the Aromatic Noodles with Lime Peanut Sauce did not magically appear in my kitchen while I was busy tending to other things as I hoped it would. I apologize to anyone who came here looking for that recipe, and I can’t wait to see how all my fellow CEiMB chefs fare with this week’s dish.
Instead, I bring you this old standby. I originally picked up the recipe on a Weight Watchers’ message board and have made it a few times, making minor modifications each time, with this being the best adaptation to date. (I don’t remember where the recipe originates from, so I apologize for not giving proper credit to the original recipe.) I decided to make it a few days after we had spaghetti for dinner because we had a lot of extra pasta. I’m not sure how or why this always happens, but we inevitably always end up with gobs of leftover pasta and no sauce. Even if I try making less pasta or more sauce, we have the same problem. It’s like the mysteriously missing sock after every load of laundry. I think the socks and red sauce are hanging out together somewhere. So if you too have this problem, here is a fantastic way to use up leftover pasta without feeling like you are eating leftovers of the same thing for three days in a row. I feel very Robin Miller when I use leftovers in creative ways like this!
I also felt like a hero in the kitchen while making the sauce this time. I tasted the sauce after it had been simmering a while, and it tasted like it was missing something. I asked Ryan to taste it, and he also thought it was missing something but neither of us could figure out what it needed. Then I had a stroke of genius – how about a little white wine. So I added a dash (or two or three) of white wine and PERFECTION! Ryan had a look of awe on his face and said, “Wow. I never would have thought of that. How did you think to add that?” I think I mumbled something about being a professional or whatnot, but I really have no clue where that idea came from as it isn’t something I’ve ever done before.
What I really love about this recipe is that it is very filling and satisfying. I’m not sure how you make your traditional lasagna, but mine is nowhere near only 7 POINTS per piece. (I’m guessing as I’ve never actually calculated the POINTS value of my standard recipe.) I use a ton of cheese and sausage in mine which is probably what makes it so delicious and why my family asks me almost every time I see them if I will make it again soon. Now, I’m not saying this recipe will replace lasagna, but it does curb that craving. If you like things a little spicier, this would be awesome with sausage of some kind. Another great thing about it is that it reheats well which is important because it makes a ton of food.
1 medium onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 pound lean ground beef
28 ounces canned crushed tomatoes
6 ounces tomato paste
¼ cup basil, chopped
1 teaspoon oregano
½ teaspoon Italian seasoning
½ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
⅛ cup white wine
2 teaspoons sugar
4 cups cooked spaghetti
1 cup fat free ricotta cheese
2 ounces fat free milk
8 ounces part-skim mozzarella cheese, shredded
Brown onion and garlic in olive oil. Add ground beef and brown. Drain well. Add crushed tomatoes, tomato paste, seasonings, wine and sugar. Simmer 15-20 minutes.
Mix beaten egg with cooked pasta. Coat lightly with cooking spray, and place evenly on bottom of 9×13 pan sprayed with cooking spray.
In a small bowl, mix ricotta cheese with milk. Spread mixture over the spaghetti.
Pour meat sauce over spaghetti mixture. Top with mozzarella cheese, cover with foil, bake in 350 degree oven for 30 minutes.
Remove foil and continue baking 15 minutes, or until lightly browned.
Remove from oven, let sit 5 minutes, cut and serve.
8 servings | 7 POINTS