Baked Spaghetti and Mozzarella
This new take on spaghetti is baked with fresh mozzarella, canned tomatoes, and aromatic basil for a crispy casserole main dish.
- Coarse salt
- 2 cans (28 ounces each) whole peeled tomatoes
- 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 2 garlic cloves, smashed and peeled
- 3/4 pound spaghetti
- 2 cups packed basil leaves (from 1 bunch), torn if large
- 3/4 pound fresh mozzarella, cut into 1/2-inch pieces (2 1/2 cups)
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Set a large pot of salted water to boil. In a food processor, pulse tomatoes until coarsely chopped. In a large skillet, heat oil over medium-high. Add garlic and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add tomatoes and bring to a boil. Cook at a rapid simmer until sauce thickens, about 12 minutes. Meanwhile, cook pasta 5 minutes (it will still be crunchy). Drain pasta and return to pot. Add tomato sauce, basil, and half the mozzarella and toss to combine. Transfer mixture to a 3-quart baking dish and top with remaining cheese. Bake until cheese is golden and edges are bubbling, about 25 minutes.