This dish is a revamp of Paula's original Baked Spaghetti. Hers is made with lots of full fat and canned items. Of course I nixed those and added my own lower fat, fresh options.
Initially, I combined all of these beautiful ingredients in a large sauce pan. The original recipe calls to simmer the recipe for 1 hour. Well by now y'all should know, Laura and I do not sit around to let things simmer. I pretty much let this cook for about 20 minutes before I added the ground turkey.
I will say, the main downsides to this recipe was the amount of prep work involved and the number of pans/dishes needed. I prefer to use as few dishes as possible simply because I HATE doing dishes.
Now one major flavor change I made to this dish was omitting the cheddar cheese. I don't find cheddar to be the best flavor match for spaghetti. My mouth was screaming "Mozzarella or Parmesan please!" My answer? Kraft 2% Italian blend. A great lower fat/calorie cheese with the yummy creaminess that a typical mozzarella would provide.
What are some of your favorite low calorie substitutions?
I layered all of the spaghetti and beautiful sauce in a medium casserole dish. I did cut Paula's recipe in half because I did NOT need 10 servings of pasta just hanging out in my fridge. The recipe below represents the 6 serving final product.
How did it taste? I loved it! It had the great twice baked flavor and texture with creamy cheese scattered in between the layers. Rusty didn't hate it, but he didn't love it either. I think he is just not used to me using less salt in our recipes. His heart will thank me later :)
Here are the stats:
1 cup diced tomatoes
1 1/2 cups no salt added tomato sauce
1 cup water
1 onion, diced
2 tbsp green bell pepper, diced
2 cloves of garlic, chopped
2 tbsp fresh parsley leaves, chopped
1 tsp Italian seasoning
1 tsp FNF seasoning (recipe here)
1 tsp no-salt seasoning salt (recipe here)
1 bay leaf
1 cup mushrooms
12 oz extra lean ground turkey, browned
6 oz whole wheat spaghetti, dry
1 cup Kraft 2% Italian blend
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
In a large pot, combine the ingredients for the sauce except the turkey. Bring to a boil then reduce the heat and let simmer for at least 20 minutes. Add the ground turkey and continue to simmer for another 20 minutes. Remove the bay leaf and set aside.
After adding the turkey, begin to cook the spaghetti. Cook according to package instructions, drain and set aside.
To assemble, spray a medium sized casserole dish with non stick spray. Put half of the noodles in the bottom. Cover with 1/2 the sauce and 1/2 the cheese. Then layer the remaining pasta and sauce. Bake for 20-30 minutes. Remove from the oven and add the remaining cheese. Bake for another 5-10 minutes or until the cheese is melted and bubbly. Remove from oven and let cool slightly. Enjoy!
Makes 6 servings.