Easy Recipes: Spaghetti Bake Dinner

Msy craving for baked spaghetti began when we order some from Bella's Pizza Friday night when we didn't want to cook.  I was super hungry and the baked spaghetti fulfilled my appetite.  That led me to tell friends that I wanted to make baked spaghetti.  Once you tell someone what you want to make, the recipe rolled out.  The recipes I used was from my friend's mom.  You know the type of recipe that's written on pieces of paper and the source has become unknown as it gets passed down from person to person.

Adrienne’s Spaghetti Bake

450g pkg spaghetti
1 lb ground beef or chicken
4 cups spaghetti sauce
19 oz can stewed tomatoes, preferably Italian style
1 tsp dried basil
½ tsp dried oregano
2 chopped green peppers (optional)
3 tbsp butter
⅓ cup flour
3 cups milk
½ tsp each of salt & dried mustard
¼ tsp peper
2 cups grated cheddar cheese
½ cup grated Parmesan cheese

1.  Preheat oven to 350.  Grease 9 x 13 casserole dish.  Cook spaghetti in a large pot boiling water for 9 mins.  It will cook more in the oven.  Meanwhile in large frying pan or dutch oven, cook meat over medium-high heat, stirring often with a fork to keep seperated, until it loses its pink colour.  Remove from heat and drain fat.  Stir in spaghetti sauce, tomatoes, basil, oregano and peppers. 
(I omitted peppers and used whole wheat spaghetti and half jar of spaghetti sauce)

2.  Drain spaghetti well and mix with meat sauce.  Turn into casserole dish and press into an even layer.  

3.  Melt butter in saucepan set over medium heat.  Stir iin flour.  Stir constantly until mixture is bubbly.  Gradually stir in milk.  Continue stirring until mixture is thickened about 7 mins.  Remove from heat and stir in salt, dry mustard and pepper.  Then stir in 1 cup cheddar cheese until melted.
(I omitted dry mustard)

4.  Pour cheese sauce over spaghetti mixture.  Sprinkle with remaining cheddar and parmesan cheese.  Set casserole on a cookie sheet to catch any spills.  Bake uncovered, until heated through about 45 mins.  If making ahead unbaked casserole can be covered and refridgerated for 1 day or frozen.  A cold casserole will take an extra 15 mins of baking time.  
(I omitted parmesan)

What I love about this spaghetti bake is that I made all of the omissions above and it still tasted GREAT! 
A 9x13 casserole dish feeds a lot.  Great for potlucks or when you have dinner parties.  Comfort food!