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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.

  • Prep:
  • Total Time:
  • Servings: 4
Baked Spaghetti and Mozzarella

Source: Everyday Food, September 2010

Ingredients

  • 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)

Directions

  1. 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.

Reviews (17)

  • saugustine 1 Dec, 2014

    Making this recipe for the second time! My husband and small children LOVED it. I, too, added some fresh mild Italian sausage and cooked it with the tomatoes and garlic. Delicious and definitely a crowd pleaser. This recipe is in my dinner rotation, it can be made in advance and is a great dish to bring to families in need of a home cooked meal.

  • Jennifersc 29 Oct, 2014

    My family and I loved this recipe. Fast and delicious and very versatile. I may add shrimp, chicken or sausage next time. The question I have is, should the crushed garlic be removed before serving?

  • NorwalkFoodLover 24 Oct, 2014

    Waiting to pop this into the oven. Took six Italian sausages out of their casings and browned them in the oil prior to adding garlic and two quarts of tomatoes we'd canned from the CSA. Used supermarket shredded mozz (all we had in the house -- sorry) for mixing in and topping. Will let you know how it comes out.

  • Eat Only If Its Oh So Good 4 Apr, 2013

    I wanted to like this meal but I didn't. Not enough depth. Also it feeds a lot so if you don't have 4 or more people who eat large servings then cut it in half. I see this more of a meal that I would make for my son's college friends.

  • MairiC 26 Mar, 2012

    We really enjoyed this, although I considered the recipe a base to which one would add their own mix of vegetables and spices...as is I think it would be dreadfully bland. I doubled the garlic and added a sliced onion. I was perplexed why the recipe called for whole tomatoes if they were processed, so I used a can of diced and one of crushed. I used shredded mozzarella mixed in, and fresh on top and recommend this. I added quartered fresh mushrooms, hot pepper flakes, and salt and papper.

  • C1PNR 27 Oct, 2014

    Mairi, the reason to use Whole canned tomatoes comes from the Ripeness standard required for canned whole tomatoes. It's higher than that for all other canned tomatoes so you get the best flavor possible from canned product. I just squish them in my hand when adding to any recipe. You do have to watch out for squirting juices.

  • truecritic 19 Mar, 2012

    Fortunately, I always have to substitute ingredients. I did not have 2 cans tomatoes. I used 1 large ripe tomatoe, food processed with 2 cloves of garlic, salt, paprika,cayenne pepper, and jarred wet basil. I added this fresh mix and a 1/2 jar of spagehtti sauce to the oil&garlic pan. I boiled a high quality dried penne about 80% al dente, then layered sauce to noodles until my square 9x9 pyrex pan was topped. I added the cheese on top, but also smashed garlic butter croutons! so good!

  • scenicworld 6 Mar, 2012

    this came out great. the pasta was a little mushy but we used fresh spaghetti rather than the box kind so i assume thats why, but it tasted good regardless. like the other reviewers, i suggest using grated cheese as well mixed in with the pasta because the mozzarella alone does not cover the entire area. i definitely recommend making this dish!!

  • sjb48 28 Dec, 2010

    I too have always wondered why the nutrional values are never added. I had requested it many times. I guess Martha just doesn't care. Shame, I am afraid to make many of the recipes, it's important to me as a diabetic to know.

  • klanigan 10 Dec, 2010

    This was really good and really easy to make. I had all the ingredients on hand, including fresh mozzarella and shredded. I mixed the shredded in with my noodles and put the fresh on top. The shredded melted in with the noodles and gave it a good flavor, not crunchy at all. The fresh mozzarella on top seems more authentic to me - personally, I really liked it. The best part is how easily you can modify the recipe by changing the sauce or adding your own spices and vegetables.

  • Suezy 10 Dec, 2010

    This turns out much better than it looks like in the picture. I used grated mozzarella to avoid the "seagull effect," lol. My family liked it

  • ohigirl67 9 Dec, 2010

    I made last night. Used dry basil instead of fresh...next time fresh. I added pepper and onion to add flavor. Also added a bit of sugar because we like a sweeter sauce. Did use fresh mozzarella, however it just clumped in the spot where I placed it. Next time I will use shredded. I loved the idea of not fully cooking the noodles. My husband liked it so much, we had the leftovers again the next night.

  • wdnana 9 Dec, 2010

    The spaghetti looks terribly dry ? Not very appealing.

  • dinahlee 8 Dec, 2010

    I made it and the grandkids and their parents thought it was great! Added some garlic toast and a salad and voila--dinner!

  • DeannaC 8 Dec, 2010

    I really wish Martha Stewart would add nutrition information to all their recipes.

  • Crocagator 8 Dec, 2010

    I think it's looks devine! I can't wait to make it.

  • joduluth 8 Dec, 2010

    That doesn't even look good! First thing I thought of was a flock of seagulls

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