Pinterest is dangerous. Seriously. Cruising a collection of pictures of things people love to eat. That’s what I use Pinterest for mostly. Well, that and EVERYTHING else – finding craft projects, DIY ideas, decorating ideas, baby stuff. It’s never ending.
This recipe for “million dollar spaghetti” I discovered first on a website, then I looked it up on Pinterest. As it turns out, million dollar spaghetti is everywhere. There are myriad recipes for it, but the basic gist of it is that you mix lasagna filling with spaghetti, layer that a couple of times, then top it with your favourite pasta sauce and cheese and bake. That sounded reasonable to me.
My husband is not a pasta lover like I am, BUT if it has a “filling” in it, he usually likes it. So I thought I’d give this a try.
Well, he liked it! He really liked a pasta dish. That says something about this recipe. I really liked it too. It’s like a creamy pasta topped with tomato sauce. It feels like you get the best of both worlds – an alfredo-like base with a tomato-ey, meaty top. Really good, and really hearty and filling. And I’m going to bet that kids would love this stuff.
This is my take on million dollar spaghetti. Although you’ll see many of the ingredients are optional, they weren’t optional as far as I concerned. I made this recipe the same way I would make a pasta dish at home – full of the things we like to eat with pasta. I recommend using a flavoured cream cheese – we used roasted garlic and it was good. I’m thinking herb and garlic would also be really delicious. Also, this dish can be made ahead: just assemble the dish and keep it refrigerated until you are ready to bake it off. That’s exactly what I did. I made this on Sunday afternoon and popped it in the oven on Monday evening. That puts it on the table in a much more reasonable time frame.
I haven’t had a chance to bring some of this in for lunch yet, but I am really looking forward to doing that.
Hope you all enjoy it too!
[Recipe] Million Dollar Spaghetti
1 375g box spaghetti
1 jar pasta sauce
1 lb ground beef (optional)
1 tsp (or 1 clove) garlic
1 large onion, chopped (optional)
8 oz mushrooms (optional)
1 cup cottage cheese
1 cup cream cheese (your favourite savoury cream cheese works well here – we used roasted garlic and it was yummy)
1/2 cup sour cream
1 Tbsp dried parley (optional)
4 Tbsp butter
1 cup shredded cheese (optional)
When ready to bake, preheat the oven to 375F.
Heat a medium saucepan over medium heat.
Chop onion. Add ground beef, onion, and garlic to the pan and saute until the ground beef is no longer pink.
Add mushrooms and continue to cook until the mushrooms are cooked.
Add the jar of pasta sauce to the meat mixture. Set aside.
Meanwhile, cook the spaghetti until al dente. Once the spaghetti is cooked, drain it and set it aside.
A little kitchen tip… To keep your pot from boiling over, place a utensil across the top of the pot. It won’t boil over!
Combine the cottage cheese, cream cheese, sour cream, and parsley in a large bowl. Mix well.
Put the butter (either melted or in dollops) in the bottom of a 9×13 baking dish.
Layer half of the spaghetti on top of the butter, followed by half of the cheese mixture.
Layer the other half of the spaghetti, and the remainder of the cheese mixture.
Top the layers with the meat sauce.
Bake (uncovered) for 30 minutes, at which time you can top the casserole with shredded cheese or parmesan and continue baking for an additional 15 minutes. If you are opting out of the cheese topping, simply bake the casserole uncovered for 45 minutes.
Let stand 5-10 minutes before serving.