The Real Housewife of Santa Monica

Baked Spaghetti

Think olive green & sunset yellow kitchen accents. Think bumpy blue water glasses. Think Betty Crocker Cookbook. Imagine all this and you can almost taste the 1950′s wholesome deliciousness. Plus, people old & new tend to like it including one of the pickiest 2 year olds you ever met.

I got this recipe from my brother-in-law, John, and I made a few changes to it mostly because I either forgot to buy an ingredient (when I went to Ralph’s ONLY to buy that ingredient), or because my husband “doesn’t eat fungus” or because I was trying to express my Santa Monica-ness by substituting wheat spaghetti for regular spaghetti. Don’t hate me for it. At least it was Ralph’s brand wheat spaghetti.

You’ll need these:

Oh yeah, and these too:

And, this (can be ground hamburger/turkey/tofu or you can omit this entirely):

1 small onion chopped
1 green pepper chopped
1 lb ground meat/tofu
1 lb spaghetti – drained (undercook slightly) **I break it in half so my toddler doesn’t have to struggle with it later & so I don’t have to clean the floors after dinner.**
1 7oz jar chopped olives – green w/pimentos (trust me on this)
2 14.5oz cans diced tomatoes (I used the ones with jalapenos for a kick)
1 can tomato paste
1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
1/2 tsp chili powder
1/2 tsp paprika
3/4 lb mild cheese (mozzarella or Mexican blend – really whatever is on hand!)
**If you like it spicy – add crushed red pepper!**

In a large saucepan, saute the onion & green pepper in oil.

When they are soft/translucent, add the ground meat if you go that route.

When meat is cooked through, add spices & Worcestershire sauce. Stir. Add tomatoes, paste, olives.

In a casserole/lasagna dish (large one) ladle thin layer of sauce to coat bottom. Wait, that looks like a THICK layer. Don’t do yours as thick. Do as I say, not as I do.

Spread half the cooked/drained spaghetti evenly.

Top with half the remaining sauce. Cover with half the cheese. Now spread the rest of the spaghetti evenly, topped by the rest of the sauce & the rest of the cheese on top.

Cover with aluminum foil & put in fridge over night. This has to SIT. You think I’m kidding? The first time I made this I didn’t believe it either and baked & served it the same night. It wasn’t as good. But you can make your own decision! My advice: leave it over night (is that one or two words?) – then bake at 350 for 45 mins. the next night for dinner. Remember to take the foil off after 30 mins. You can also sprinkle some fresh parmesan on at that time!


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