Baked Spaghetti with Meat Sauce

serves 6

  • 1 lb. spaghetti
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 lb. ground beef
  • 1/2  medium onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, roughly chopped
  • pinch red pepper flakes
  • 4 cups marinara sauce
  • 1 cup shredded mozzarella
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • parsley, for topping

Preheat oven to 350F.

Spray a 9 x 13 baking pan with cooking spray and set aside.

Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add onion and cook until translucent, about 3-4 minutes. Add ground beef to the skillet and cook, breaking up with a spoon until meat is thoroughly cooked, about 4 minutes. Add garlic and red pepper flakes to the meat mixture and cook for another 2 minutes. Slowly stir in the marinara and continue to simmer on low for another 10-15 minutes.

Meanwhile, boil water in a large pot over high heat. Cook spaghetti according to package instructions. Drain, and return to pan. Slowly incorporate sauce into the pasta and stir until well combined.

Transfer half of the spaghetti into the prepared baking dish. With a large fork, twirl pasta into 6 equal sized mounds. Make a little well at the top of each mound and sprinkle top with half of the Parmesan and mozzarella. Add the rest of the spaghetti, continuing the same process as before. Top with cheeses and any leftover sauce. Bake in the oven for 20 minutes. Turn the oven to Broil and cook pasta for another 3-5 minutes, or until some of the cheese starts to crisp.  Sprinkle with chopped parsley and serve warm.