Baked Spaghetti with Mushrooms and Bell Pepper Sauce

by - April 28, 2009

Sorry, I have no picture this time around, but imagine a casserole dish of cheesy goodness with fresh veggies incognito and you will get the idea. Joe and I have a lot of work to do in regards to eating more vegetables. Often the problem is just a texture thing. Sometimes, one of us (and we alternate on this) will leave a small stash of veggies on one side of the plate while scarfing down everything else. Personally, I love bell peppers and can't get enough in my dishes, but that is one vegetable (or is it a fruit?) that Joe isn't very fond of. The other night I decided to work it into a dish in a way that it couldn't be avoided, and as it turns out, Joe loved it. This dish can be prepared in the morning and popped in the over just before dinner time. I tend to play with the ratios of noodles to sauce and cheese. Sometimes I cut the noodles in half for a saucier dish.

Serves 6

1 (8 ounce) package spaghetti, cooked
4 oz cream cheese
1/3 cup low fat sour cream
1 cup spaghetti sauce with ground beef and mushrooms (see recipe below)
1 cup shredded mozzarella
1 red bell pepper
2 cloves garlic chopped
1 tbs olive oil
1/4 tbs crushed red pepper
salt and pepper to taste

To make the bell pepper sauce, saute a sliced, seeded bell pepper and the chopped garlic over medium heat in 1 tbs olive oil, crushed pepper, and salt to taste. When the bell pepper is no longer crunchy, remove from heat and allow to cool for a few minutes. Put everything in the pan into a small food processor. Puree until smooth, adding olive oil as desired. Set aside.

Soften the cream cheese and blend well with the sour cream.

In a deep, medium casserole dish, mix the spaghetti, cream cheese and sour cream. The noodles should be creamy but not soupy. If they are too dry, add more sour cream.

Layer with your favorite meat sauce and mushrooms. See my recipe below.

Top with 3/4 the mozzarella and drizzle the bell pepper sauce before adding the remaining cheese.

Cook in the oven for 20 minutes at 375 F or until the cheese begins to crisp.

Meat Sauce with Mushrooms:

Personally, I like to make a huge batch of sauce and freeze whatever I don't intend to use in 1-cup containers.

1/2 onion diced
2-3 cloves garlic crushed
2.5 lbs ground beef
1 32 oz jar Ragu Old World Style Spaghetti Sauce
1 lb fresh sliced mushrooms

In a 12" saute pan (or an equally large lidded pot) brown the meat with the onion, garlic and mushrooms, then add the jar of sauce and bring to a simmer. Add salt and pepper to taste. This makes about 8 cups of sauce.

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2 comments

  1. You guys are great. You have a beautiful vegetable garden and yet aversions to eating veggies! I guess having a garden is a good way to get motivated. Oh, and tell Joe that Daniel doesn't like bell peppers either!

    ReplyDelete
  2. I know, it's sad. Peas are only veggie we are growing that neither of us likes. Our Daniel eats them though and he loved the bell peppers last night.

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