Dinnertime. The time honored tradition of families everywhere. We all do it a little bit different but I think the goal is pretty much the same across families, countries and cultures. It is important to take time out of your busy day and spend quality moments with the ones that you love.
But it is extremely hard to do this these days. Our family has jobs, homework, soccer practice, baths and playtime. This isn’t mentioning laundry, dishes, housework and all the other obligations that families have just to keep our heads above water.
My husband and I find that it is a slippery slope to find shortcuts in dinner. We want to give ourselves and our children quality, healthy and thoughtful meals at dinnertime. The balance is in finding the right meal at the right price that we can find time to prepare in the “fog of war” that is in our home between the hours of 4pm and bedtime.
This is why Italian recipes are so important to us. They are hearty, easy to prepare, nutritious and the leftovers are easy to reheat for lunch or dinner in the next couple of days. It is the perfect family food.
This is why this baked spaghetti recipe is one of our favorites. It features our favorite brand of spaghetti sauce, Ragu®. We make sure to pick a jar of it up during our weekly shopping trip to Kroger Grocery Stores.
- 1 package (16 ounces) spaghetti
- 1 pound ground beef
- 1 medium onion, chopped
- 2 cloves of garlic
- 1 jar (24 ounces) Ragu® Traditional Spaghetti sauce
- ½ teaspoon fresh ground pepper
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon dried Italian Herbs
- 2 eggs
- ⅓ cup grated Parmesan cheese
- 5 tablespoons butter, melted
- 1 tub (16 ounces) ricotta cheese
- 4 cups (16 ounces) shredded Mozzarella Cheese
- Set a large pasta with water on the stove to boil. According to the package directions, cook spaghetti noodles. While the pasta is cooking, sautee beef, onion and garlic over medium heat; drain. When hamburger is finished cooking, stir in spaghetti sauce and spices; set aside.
- In a large bowl, whisk eggs, Parmesan cheese and melted butter. When the pasta is finish, drain and add to egg mixture, toss to coat with tongs.
- Grease a 3-qt, baking dish and place half of the spaghetti mixture in it. Layer half of the ricotta cheese, meat sauce and 2 cups of the mozzarella cheese. Repeat.
- Cover pan with tin foil and bake at 350° for about 45 minutes. Uncover; bake for about 25 minutes longer or until cheese is melted.
This is a great, easy and delicious recipe that we can always whip up as long as we have a jar of Ragu® spaghetti sauce in our cupboard. My husband is going to throw some of this into a Tupperware container and bring it to work tomorrow for lunch. I hope your busy family loves it just as much as ours!