Well it’s Wednesday and it’s negative 2 degrees.
yaaaay…Winter has finally arrived. I am so hating it. I have been woken up twice at 3am by snow plows, my UGG boots already have salt stains, and Izzy can barely last but 30 seconds outside before she freezes up. Is it Spring yet?
Don’t get me wrong, there are wonderful things about Winter – it can be really beautiful, cozy fires, hot chocolate, comfort food…
Ahh yes, comfort food! It’s what keeps me going during these cold dreary months. Like this Spaghetti Casserole for example.
This is a one dish meal that warms me right up, literally. It’s full of flavor, simple to make, filling, and of course, comforting.
Because I am needy in the Winter I need to be comforted. The cold brings out the worst in me or something. I am freezing all the time, I get really hangry, and all I want to do is lay under the covers and hibernate until it’s over. It’s so sad.
But things like Spaghetti Pie and hot chocolate do perk me up and help me last until those last snowy days are over.
Thank you Italian food and chocolate.
So this meal is crazy simple to make. I used a jarred sauce in this recipe. There are quite a few good ones out there these days. I like Newman’s Own. It’s cheap and profits go to charity! yay! But please, use whatever you like. I jazzed the sauce up by adding some ground beef, onions, garlic and basil. It tastes very homemade and it’s a bit more convenient than making sauce some scratch.
Cream Cheese and sour cream are what hold this casserole together. I know…weird right? It just works though, trust me. I could eat this casserole every.single.day during the Winter and be a happy camper. And that’s difficult to do!
It’s also good as leftovers. Many recipes use only one jar of sauce, but I like things saucy so I use a bit more. I actually use one jar plus 1 cup so you will have an extra jar of sauce to use. If the casserole is a little dry, simply add some of the extra jarred sauce when re-heating it and it will be good as new.
Come on Winter…I’m ready!
Don’t forget to pin this recipe on Pinterest by clicking the image below!
- 1 pound ground beef
- 1 small onion, finely chopped
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 tablespoon fresh basil, chopped
- 1 jar plus 1 cup marinara sauce
- 1 package (1 pound) spaghetti or linguine (I used linguine)
- 1 8 ounce package cream cheese
- ½ cup sour cream
- 8 slices mozzarella (can use shredded too)
- Parmesan cheese for garnish
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- In a large pan, add olive oil and place over medium-high heat. Add ground beef and cook for a few minutes until it starts to brown. Add onions and garlic and continue to cook until ground beef is cooked through and onions are translucent.
- Next add the marinara sauce to the beef and onions and cook until heated through. Taste for salt and pepper and season to your liking. Finally add fresh basil; set aside and keep warm.
- While sauce is cooking, boil the noodles for about 8 minutes or according to package directions for al dente. You don't want to boil the noodles too much as they will continue to cook in the oven. The noodles should still have a bite to them.
- Add cooked noodles to a large bowl with cream cheese and sour cream. Mix until the cream cheese has melted and the noodles are well-coated.
- In a 9x13 baking pan, add about ½ - 1 cup of the pasta sauce and spread across the pan. Next pour in the noodles and spread so they are even. Spoon the sauce over the noodles. Cover with aluminum foil and bake for 30 minutes.
- After 30 minutes remove the aluminum foil, add the cheese on top and bake for an additional 15 minutes until cheese has melted. Let sit for 10 minutes then serve. Garnish with parmesan cheese and more basil.