When the cold winds blow and the weather turns dreary, comfort foods like Italian spaghetti really hit the spot. The great thing about this recipe is that if your family is small, you can divide the recipe into two 8x8-inch baking dishes and have one to eat and one to freeze.
1 package (16 ounces) spaghetti
1 pound ground chuck or ground round
1 pound ground Italian sausage, sweet, mild, or hot
1 medium onion, diced
2-4 cloves garlic, minced
2 jars (24 ounces each) marinara sauce or your homemade sauce
Handful fresh basil, snipped, optional
1/2 teaspoon seasoned salt
1/2 Tablespoon Italian seasoning
1/3 cup grated Parmesan, Pecorino Romano or Parmigiano Reggiano cheese
5 Tablespoons butter, melted
2 cups (16 ounces) cottage cheese or ricotta cheese
4 cups (16 ounces) shredded mozzarella cheese
Cook spaghetti according to package directions. Drain spaghetti. Note: Do not rinse. Cover and set aside.
Meanwhile, in a large skillet, sauté beef, onion and garlic over medium heat until meat is no longer pink. Drain grease and rinse meat in a colander. Put meat mixture back in skillet and stir in marinara sauce, fresh basil, if using, seasoned salt and Italian seasoning. Set aside.
In a large bowl, whisk together the eggs, Parmesan, Pecorino Romano, or Parmigiano Reggiano cheese and melted butter. Add spaghetti to egg mixture and toss to coat.
Place half of the spaghetti mixture in a buttered or sprayed with a non-vegetable spray (Pam) 13x9-inch baking dish. Top with half of the ricotta cheese, meat sauce and mozzarella cheese. Repeat layers ending with the mozzarella cheese.
Cover with foil and bake at 350 degrees F for 40 minutes. Uncover; bake 20-25 minutes longer or until cheese is hot and bubbly.
Makes about 10-12 servings.
Note: You can divide mixture into two 8x8 baking dishes. Eat one and freeze one. I like to wrap my baking dish in foil and then put it into a zip-lock bag. I then write on the outside of the bag what's inside, the date and the oven temperature.