Posted in Baked goods, Baking, Casseroles, Dinner, Food, Main Dish

Pizza Spaghetti

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During the holidays, we’re often looking for simple recipes that will feed a crowd…this is one of those recipes. It’s nothing fancy but it’s a basic recipe with lots of big flavor. Adding favorite toppings like, onions, green peppers or olives can personalize this dish to match your family’s tastes. Crushed red pepper adds a little spice and adding a varied selection of cheeses can add depth to the flavor. Give this one a try and make it your own.

Pizza Spaghetti

1 (8 ounce) package spaghetti, broken into smaller pieces
1 egg
1/4 cup milk
2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon onion salt
1 (16 ounce) jar chunky garden style spaghetti sauce
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1/4 teaspoon dried basil
1/8 teaspoon crushed red pepper
4 ounces turkey pepperoni sausage, sliced

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray with cooking spray, a 13X9″ baking pan.
Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add spaghetti and cook for 8 to 10 minutes or until al dente; drain and cool. In a separate bowl, beat the egg, add milk, 1/2 cup of the mozzarella cheese, salt and garlic salt. Stir in cooked spaghetti, mix well.
Spread mixture evenly into baking dish. Bake for 15 minutes. Remove from oven and spread sauce over spaghetti. Sprinkle with oregano, basil and the remaining 1 1/2 cups mozzarella cheese. Top with pepperoni, return to oven and bake for 30 minutes. Let cool for 5 minutes before slicing.
Note: For an extra hearty twist, add 1 lb. browned ground beef or Italian sausage to the spaghetti sauce before spreading over pasta.

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Posted in Beef, Dinner, Food, Main Dish

Homemade Spicy Italian Meatballs

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In our house, we traditionally try to have some sort of pasta dish the day before a swim meet. Today, when I asked my swimmers what they would like for dinner, all agreed that rigatoni and meatballs would fit the bill.
I am not a fan of store bought or pre-packaged frozen meatballs. It seems the amount of salt that is dumped into the processed recipe is usually quite overwhelming. I have yet to find a frozen, pre-packaged meatball that appeals to me.
The recipe that follows is tender and flavorful. The sodium level is certainly not over powering and the addition of crushed red pepper and hot sauce make these meatballs a bit spicy. I add a sprinkle of sugar to my tomato sauce to cut the acid in the tomatoes and the combination of slightly sweet against slightly spicy is quite pleasing.

Homemade Spicy Italian Meatballs

2 lbs. lean ground beef
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 medium onion, finely chopped
1 teaspoon garlic powder
2 teaspoons dried Italian seasoning
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper
2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
1/2 cup milk
2-3 dashes hot sauce
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese
2 slices of bread, processed into bread crumbs or 1 cup bread crumbs

In a large bowl, combine all ingredients until just mixed together. With a 1 1/2″ ice cream scoop, gather mixture into a ball and carefully release onto a large jelly roll pan. Bake 400 degrees for 18-25 minutes or until center is no longer pink. Blot each meatball on paper towel. Serve with your favorite sauce over rice or pasta.

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