Paula Deen’s Baked Spaghetti

This recipe comes from the January/February 2012 issue of the Food Network Magazine.  I’m eating some as I type this up and it is really good but I bet it will be even better tomorrow after it sits in the fridge for a day.  It isn’t hard to make but it is time consuming so if you’re going to make this for dinner some night, give yourself about 2 hours.  I made it today for my family because I am flying to my parent’s house in Illinois tonight to be with them for my dad’s open heart surgery on Thursday.  He had a heart attack right before Thanksgiving so they are going to fix him all up!  The blog will probably be pretty quiet for the next couple of weeks while I am back there.  I’m sure I’ll be doing some cooking but don’t know if I’ll have the time to be blogging.  Any good thoughts and/or prayers you might care to send our way would be greatly appreciated!

2 cups canned diced tomatoes (I used a 14.5 oz can)

2 cups tomato sauce (or 2 8 oz cans)

1/2 cup diced onion

1/2 cup diced green bell pepper (forgot to get this at the store and didn’t want to go back for it)

2 cloves garlic, chopped (or pressed)

1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley (left this out)

1 1/2 teaspoons Italian seasoning

Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper

1/4 teaspoon garlic powder

1 1/2 teaspoons seasoned salt

1 1/2 teaspoons sugar

2 small bay leaves

1 1/2 pounds hamburger

8 ounces angel hair pasta (I used spaghetti)

1 cup grated cheddar cheese

1 cup grated Monterey Jack cheese

1  Preheat oven to 350.

2  Combine tomatoes, tomato sauce, 1 cup water, onion, bell pepper, garlic, parsley, Italian seasoning, 1 teaspoon salt, 1/4 teaspoon pepper, garlic powder, seasoned salt, sugar and bay leaves in stockpot.  Bring to a boil over high heat, reduce heat and let simmer, covered, 1 hour.

3  Cook hamburger over medium high heat until fully cooked and no pink color remains.  Drain fat, then add to stockpot and simmer for 20 more minutes.

4  Meanwhile, bring large pot of salted water to a boil.  Add pasta and cook according to package directions.

5  Cover bottom of 3 quart baking dish with 1/3 of sauce.  Add 1/2 of pasta, the 1/3 of each cheese.  Repeat layers, ending with sauce.  Bake for 30 minutes.  Top with remaining cheese and continue to bake until cheese is melted and bubbly, about 5 more minutes.

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