We’ve been together for a long time, haven’t we?
All the way back to when I first laid eyes on you in my mother’s kitchen.
But it wasn’t exactly love at first sight for us, though, was it?
No, it took some time before I could warm up to you… because my mother kept presenting you to me as spaghetti – and for whatever reason, that just did not fly with my five-year-old self.
Thankfully I’ve grown wiser in my years and have seen the error in my ways (ie, I know full well that spaghetti is awesome), but even now I don’t make spaghetti the exact same way my mother did. I like to put a little twist on our family tradition to call it my own.
Because you see, when I make spaghetti, I like to bake it in a deep dish filled with delicious cheeses, savory meats, and Ragú sauce. I especially love their Sundried Tomato & Sweet Basil flavor – it brings all of my favorite Italian flavors together without all the fuss. How perfect is that?!
This dish has slowly become a “new” tradition in our house. The Husband loves spaghetti just as much as my family does, so of course he was always asking me to make it.
And once I finally embraced the deliciousness that is spaghetti and Ragú, this casserole dish became our compromise – I still get my comforting-inducing cheesy pasta dish while he gets gets his classic spaghetti and sauce.
It’s a win-win!
And speaking of tradition, did you know that Ragú was founded by a woman named Assunta Cantisano?
I only recently learned her story, but it’s the épidémie of woman power:
a single mother who immigrate from Italy to the US during the Great Depression, armed with determination and an authentic Italian sauce recipe.
I love hearing that my favorite brands have a rich history.
So, what about you?
Do you have any classic Italian dishes that work great with Ragú sauce?
I’d love to hear about it!
Baked Spaghetti Casserole
Revamp your boring spaghetti by baking it in a deep dish filled with delicious cheeses, savory meats, and Ragú sauce.
rate this recipe
- 12 oz spaghetti
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1 lb ground beef
- 1 small onion chopped
- 1 tbsp garlic
- 23 oz Ragu sauce flavor of your choice (meatless)
- 2 eggs
- 16 oz ricotta cheese
- 1/2 cup parmesan cheese shredded, plus more for topping
- 3 tbsp butter melted and cooled
- 1/2 cup mozzarella cheese shredded
- 1/2 cup monterey jack cheese shredded
- 1/2 cup cheddar cheese shredded, mild or sharp
- 1 tbsp parsley fresh and chopped (optional)
- 1 tsp crushed red pepper flakes (optional)
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- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
- In a large spaghetti pot, cook spaghetti to package instructions. Drain thoroughly. If desired, rinse spaghetti with cold water to stop cooking and make noodles easier to work with. Set noodles aside.
- While spaghetti cooks, heat olive oil over medium heat in a large skillet. Add ground beef and onion to skillet and cook & crumble beef until bronwed, about 5-8 minutes. Add garlic to skillet and cook for an additional 2-3 minutes. Drain any excess fat then return meat mixture to skillet.
- Add Ragu sauce to skillet and allow to simmer with meat 5 minutes, then turn heat to low.
- In a large bowl, whisk together eggs, ricotta cheese, parmesan cheese, and melted butter. Set aside.
- Spray a large baking dish with cooking spray. Add 1/3 of the meat mixture to the bottom of dish, then top it with 1/3 of the cheese mix. Add 1/2 of the spaghetti and spread evenly. Repeat with another layer of meat sauce, cheese, then spaghetti. Finish with the remaining cheese sauce and and meat sauce. Sprinkle cheddar, Monterrey jack, and mozzarella cheeses on top.
- Bake in the oven for 20-25 minutes or until cheese sauce has melted and dish is heated through. If you rinsed noodles with cool water, bake at least 25 minutes.
- Sprinkle top with parsley, crushed red pepper flakes, and extra parmesan cheese, if desired. Serve immediately.