Friday, April 11, 2008

Baked Spaghetti

When Ben from What's Cooking thought he wasn't going to do another challenge and then got soft when he realized that a portion of all Tupperware sales will be donated to the Boys and Girls clubs, a new challenge was born. In keeping with the children's theme we're remembering either something we loved as a child or something our children loved. There were no restrictions - appetizer, main, side, dessert - whatever made a child happy. Both Psychgrad and I are strong supporters of charitable organizations, we are proud to support Ben by submitting this entry that we hope will bring in some small way a greater awareness for children who are less fortunate than our own.

Dinnertime for many parents with small children can be such a challenge. Around our house it sounded something like:

Giz: (calling) Psychgrad, Actorboy, dinnertime!!!

Psychgrad: What's for dinner?

Giz: Meatloaf (think melodic but nasty)

Psychgrad: I'm not eating

Actorboy: Do I have to eat it?

Giz: Just kidding!!! (evil mother) I made baked spaghetti.

Psychgrad and Actorboy in unison: YAYYYYYY!!!!!!

I have fond memories of Psychgrad and Actorboy both relishing this dish that I used to refer to as "depression food". It started out being pasta and tomato juice (sorry - but that's depressing enough for me). If I was going to make it, it was going to at least get jazzed up as minimally as I was allowed by my fussy eater (not mentioning any names of course but my son was mostly okay in the food department)

This recipe has no real measurements. It's all in how many people you're feeding. The one I made today is meant for 2 so I'll proportion it as best I can.

2 handfuls (extremely scientific measuring definition) of spaghetti
1/4 onion very finely minced (to avoid child gagging, puking, wretching or spitting)
1 heaping tbsp margarine
1 1/2 - 2 cups V8 juice (ok to use tomato juice also)
1-2 cups shredded cheddar (I used old cheddar - not as in old and mouldy but as in old aged and strong)

- Bring pot of water to rolling boil, add salt (I never do), minced onions and pasta. I break the pasta in half to avoid the table competition of who can slurp their pasta the fastest and do the most damage to perfectly clean clothing.

Note: Actorboy would always win in this department since Psychgrad always had an aversion to being dirty - i.e. no dirty clothes and definitely no dirty or sticky hands.

- Cook pasta 10 minutes and strain into collander
- Add tbsp of margarine to empty cooking pot and add back the drained pasta and onions
- Add 1 cup of V8 juice to pasta and mix. Transfer to oven proof container
- The V8 will absorb to the spaghetti so make sure the pasta is on the juicy side - add more V8 if necessary
- Top with shredded cheddar - should be pretty cheesey

- Bake in 350 F oven for 30 minutes or until cheese begins to form a slight crust
- Voila - happy kids



PG said...

You know, I don't remember liking this as much as you said I did. I think I just like dishes where I could add hot sauce. But, it is a definite improvement about pasta and tomato juice. Bleh.

Anonymous said...

Yes, dinner with children is challenging and this sounds really easy. I never thought of baking it. Thanks.

Rhyleysgranny said...

Now that looks like real comfort food.
Thank you so much for commenting on my Blog re the Chocolate cake

Vicarious Foodie said...

I love baked spaghetti! I've never tried it with tomato juice, but I have tried it with cheddar and the combo definitely works. Mmmm . . . you've reminded me that I haven't had this in far too long.

Peter M said...

I believe you when you enthuse about this baked pasta...I know the power of V8!

Ben said...

I loved it when my mom made baked spaghetti, too! This recipe is really a winner. :) Thanks for another great entry :)

Elle said...

My husband used to make this for me when we were just dating! He called it William Tell Spaghetti! I have NO idea why, lol, but it's delicious!

giz said...

noble pig - try it - it's surprisingly ok

rhylesgranny - that was a pretty amazing looking chocolate cake

vicarious foodie - I'm shocked at how many people had this as part of their childhood repetoire

peter - V8 makes everything ok - I think I'm addicted to the stuff

Ben - so many parts of the world actually make baked spaghetti - a total revelation for me

That Girl said...

We never had baked pasta dishes growing up. Just your average old boiled pasta and homemade sauce ;-)

I've tagged you for a meme!

Cakelaw said...

Yummo - I have never made baked spaghetti before, but this looks might tempting.

Anonymous said...

I can see why kids would like your dish. :)

Valerie Harrison (bellini) said...

Kids always seem to go nuts for pasta. Can you believe though that my daughter LOVED spanakopita over 'psgetti???

test it comm said...

Melted cheese, long slurpable sauce covered noodles, what's not to like?

Núria said...

He, he, those things happen in all over the world houses!!! My daughter is the same with pasta :D I never baked spaguetti though... thanks for the idea Giz!

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