Merry Christmas everyone! Or Chanukah! Or Festivus! Or whatever it is you celebrate this time of year, I hope you’re happy celebrating it.
This isn’t what I would call a “Christmas” recipe, but it sure is good. I’m back in Florida for the break and every time I’m back here with my mom she requests I make it. And you know, it’s just so darn easy and good I’m happy to oblige. It’s a Cooking Light recipe but you would never think there’s anything “light” about it when you taste it. Yum yum yum.
Also, her kitchen is rockin’ and since she doesn’t cook, it’s hardly used at all! It’s good to be home.
The nice, warm, sunny Florida weather doesn’t hurt either.
So first, here’s the gang that will be participating in this lovely event. Ground beef, 2 8-ounce cans of tomato sauce with garlic in it (if you can find a 16-ounce size of this stuff, let me know, but even my beloved Publix doesn’t carry it), salt and peper, low fat sour cream (this one pictured isn’t big enough, but I was temporarily insane with happiness shopping at a Publix again and it tasted just fine anyhow), 1/4 cup of lower-fat cream cheese, green onions, spaghetti, and shredded cheddar. Which isn’t pictured here, but I promise it was in the recipe.
I also added chopped green pepper and chopped onions, because they’re delicious.
Preheat the oven to 350°.
First, I heated up some olive oil and let the onions and peppers soften up a bit on medium heat.
Then, after they’re softened to your liking, add the ground beef.
Stir it around and break it up, and mix it in with those peppers and onions. They’re going to be best friends.
When the beef is all browned and you’ve drained it, return the pan to the stove and add the tomato sauce with garlic (2 8-oz cans).
Also add plenty of salt and pepper. Then, turn the heat down to low and let it simmer for 20 minutes. Stir it every so often, but there’s stuff for you to do in between.
Stuff #1: Boil spaghetti noodles.
Stuff #2: Make the second part of the “pie.” Get a small-ish mixing bowl and combine the following.
First, 2 ounces of cream cheese (that’s 1/4 of a package and/or 1/4 cup).
Then add 1.5 cups of lower-fat sour cream. However, I goofed and only added a cup. It was still amazing.
And then to this white mixture, add 1/2 cup of chopped green onions (scallions). This all sounds so weird, I know, but it’s amazing. I promise.
Now, it’s about 20 minutes later, your oven is preheated, your noodles are boiled, your white mixture is mixed, and everything has fallen into place.
Quickly spray a 2-quart casserole dish with some cooking spray of your choice (I always choose Pam Olive Oil spray), because now comes the layering. First, the spaghetti noodles.
Then, the sour cream mixture on top of the noodles.
Then, the meat/tomato mixture.
Then, because it’s me and because you know you love it too, some shredded cheddar cheese on top.
Just enough to cover it all. When you’re ready to put it in the oven, it will look like this.
So it’s ready, right? Put it in the 350° oven for 25 minutes.
Then, at that mark, take off the top, and cook it another 5 minutes. This will make sure that the cheese is extra awesome. (My words, not the recipe’s.)
When it’s all done, it will look like this, and you can actually serve this dish like…a pie. Get it? Spaghetti pie? So clever.
When it’s done, it’ll look like a big gloppy mess on your plate, but you know what? It’ll be so delicious you’ll forget exactly what it looked like in a matter of seconds, since you’ll have devoured it all up.
And many thanks to my friend Kelly for showing me this recipe long ago! Delicious! Thanks Kelly!
Here’s the Cooking Light recipe in totality, my edits in italics.
- One chopped green pepper
- One chopped onion
- 1 pound ground round (ground beef 93/7)
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
- 2 (8-ounce) cans tomato sauce with garlic
- 1 1/2 cups low-fat sour cream
- 1/2 cup chopped green onions
- 1/4 cup (2 ounces) 1/3-less-fat cream cheese, softened
- 4 cups hot cooked spaghetti (about 8 ounces uncooked pasta)
- Cooking spray
- 1 1/3 cups (about 5 ounces) shredded reduced-fat extra-sharp cheddar cheese $
- Preheat oven to 350°.
- On medium heat, cook the chopped onion and green pepper until softened, about 5 minutes.
- Cook meat in a large skillet over medium heat until browned, stirring to crumble, mixing with the onions and peppers. Drain well, and return meat to pan. Stir in salt, pepper, and tomato sauce. Bring to a boil; reduce heat, and simmer for 20 minutes.
- Combine the sour cream, green onions, and cream cheese in a small bowl, and set aside.
- Place the spaghetti noodles in a 2-quart casserole dish coated with cooking spray. Spread the sour cream mixture over spaghetti noodles. Top with meat mixture. Sprinkle with cheddar cheese.
- Cover and bake at 350° for 25 minutes. Uncover; bake an additional 5 minutes or until cheese is bubbly.