Pesto Baked Spaghetti

A quick and easy Pesto Baked Spaghetti that is super flavorful with the added pesto!  No layers to fuss with like a lasagna, comes together quickly and so delicious!  Makes a 9×13 pan.

My favorite thing about the Fall in Newfoundland is that I get to make all my favorite fall weather foods like chili, soups, stews and of course CASSEROLES! With everyone back on a schedule and kids back in school, this Pesto Baked Spaghetti is perfect for our cooler evenings!   I, personally, love casseroles! What’s not to love….it’s usually saucy, has cheese and a whole pan feeds plenty and there is usually leftovers 🙂

This Pesto Baked Spaghetti will become a “FAMILY FAVORITE”!  Just don’t tell the kids it has “Pesto” in it and wait for the rave reviews!

We LOVE pasta and I’ve had many baked spaghettis so I was pleasantly surprised by how delicious this casserole tasted!  It was super flavorful with the added pesto in the cheese mixture and with the spaghetti sauce and melted cheese on top, it’s a winning combination.  I added ground turkey to my spaghetti sauce so that there was more protein per serving. Served with some garlic bread and a light salad, you have a complete meal.

This would be a great “Make and Take” casserole for a potluck plus you can make it ahead and store in the refrigerator until ready to bake.  Take the leftovers for lunch ~ it reheats beautifully in the microwave. It also freezes really well.

Pesto Baked Spaghetti

  • Servings: 9 x 13 pan
  • Difficulty: Easy
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“A simply delicious casserole with a hint of pesto, ground turkey , your favorite marinara sauce and plenty of cheese!”

Ingredients:

  • 1 pkg (375 g) spaghetti
  • 1/2 cup spaghetti water
  • 2 cups cottage cheese
  • 1/2 cup grated mozzella cheese
  • 1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
  • 1/3 cup pesto
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 – 3 cups spaghetti sauce (homemade or store bought)
  • OPTIONAL – 1 lb of ground chicken, turkey or beef, cooked and drained)
  • 1 cup grated mozzerella cheese for sprinkling on top
  • garnish with fresh basil

Preparation:

Assemble all your ingredients as this comes together really quickly once the spaghetti is cooked.

If using ground meat, cook, drain the grease and stir into the spaghetti sauce and set aside.

In mixing bowl, add cottage cheese, 1/2 cup mozzarella cheese, parmesan cheese, pesto, salt and pepper.  Mix well until combined.

Cook spaghetti according to package directions. Save 1/2 cup spaghetti water then drain spaghetti and return to pot.

To pot of hot spaghetti, add the pesto cheese mixture and stir well to combine.  If dry, add a bit of the reserved spaghetti water.  Pour spaghetti mixture into a greased 9×13 pan.  Spread evenly.  Pour spaghetti sauce on top and spread evenly.  Sprinkle on 1 cup mozzerella cheese.

Bake 30 – 40 minutes in a 350 degree oven until hot and bubbly.  Remove from oven and let sit to set up for about 15 minutes then sprinkle with chopped basil.  Slice and serve with some garlic bread and a salad.  Enjoy 🙂

NOTES:  I used whole wheat spaghetti but you can use white. If you wanted it a bit spicier, add a couple of hot italian sausages (removed from casings) and cook it with the ground meat.   

http://www.aroundthebaywithdd.com

Loving this Life Living “Around the Bay” ~ DD

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How does your Garden Grow…..

​Enjoy the bounty of your garden by preserving!  Read on for “My Tips” for Saving Summer Tastes for the winter blues…..See my recipe for “Basil Oil” (below) ~ Keeps for 3 months ~ drizzle it on everything!!!!

Gardening in Newfoundland is always unpredictable!  The fog and the wind play havoc on many a crop and then if the sun doesn’t shine and the days are chilly, that’s a double whammy! But I have to say, even though the summer started off miserably (cold, cold, cold) August has certainly been beautiful and my garden is showing it’s bounty, FINALLY!! 🙂

Everything in the greenhouse is growing prolificly while my raised bed is growing half assed!  Lost my broccoli and cauliflower to root maggot, the slugs got my potatoes, and the birds ate my strawberries and quite a few of my seeds (peas, lettuce, spinach).  I would LOVE to hear how you keep the birds from eating your seeds.

My basil, oregano, hungarian peppers, green peppers, hot peppers, cukes, zucchini, kale, and romaine lettuce are producing more than we can eat.  I am one of those people that likes to use everything!!!! so here are some ways I preserve my produce to enjoy after the warm days of summer have passed.  Which in Newfoundland, is much sooner than I would like! (sniff, sniff)

DD’s Tips

Zucchini:  I grate my zucchini, bag it in 2 cup measurements, squeeze all the air out of the bag and freeze it.  Great for baking!  Just defrost, squeeze out the extra liquid and mix in your recipe as per the directions.

Oregano:  I have been using my oregano in everything!  That stuff grows like a weed.  I am on my third drying, have a few bottles of “DD’s Garden Oregano”  and have frozen some in ice cube trays with olive oil to use in sauces, soups, dips, or melted over fish or chicken. 

(NOTE: To dry your basil and oregano, tie stems with twine, hang upside down in a non drafty room until nice and crumby.  Gently remove from stem, do not crumble, and place in a mason jar.  When using, just crumble into food ~ it’s just like using fresh herbs).

Basil:  My basil is drying as I write this, I also have some frozen in ice cube trays with olive oil and they get added to spaghetti sauces, soups, dips, or drizzed over a salad…it’s even great just thawed for dunking with a fresh baguette.  I also made this delicious “Basil Oil” (recipe below) that will keep in the refrigerator for about 3 months. Drizzle it on everything!!! and then drizzle some more. (eggs, veggies, meats, chicken, fish, salad…….)

Kale:  I cut my kale up into bite size pieces and place it in a large baggie, remove all the air and place it in the freezer.  I add this to soups, stews, sauces, smoothies….here is one of my favorite recipes using kale…Spicy Fish Stew with Vegetables.

Once all the air is removed from your Kale, it takes up little room in your freezer!

Spicy Peppers:  I just found this “How to Roast and Store Chilies” this morning and will be roasting my chilies this week to make my own “canned green chilies”.  Store in the freezer in 1/2 cup measurements = a 4oz can of chilies.

I hope you enjoyed my little garden tour!  Would love to hear your ideas on how you preserve your garden’s bounty!  Leave me a comment at the bottom of this post 🙂 

Basil Oil

“A great oil made out of all that extra Basil from your garden!  Great to drizzle on everything from eggs, to veggies, to salads, roasted potatoes…the possibilities are endless!”

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 cup packed basil leaves
  • 1 cup olive oil

Preparation:

Assemble your working station ~ Put your water on to boil, fill bowl with ice water, place paper towels on counter with slotted spoon to drain basil, add oil oil to blender. 

Once water starts to boil, add basil and blanche for 1 minute.  Remove basil with slotted spoon and drain on paper towel.  Use an extra paper towel to blot the top of the basil.  Add basil to the blender and blend until finely chopped.  Using a fine mesh strainer placed over a bowl (not pictured) pour basil oil into strainer and let strain until all the oil is in the bowl.  (Do not discard the finely chopped basil).  Pour basil oil into a mason jar or squeeze bottle and store in the refrigerator for up to 3 months.

Spoon the finely chopped basil into a clean ice cube tray, top with olive oil, and place in your freezer. Once frozen, remove from ice cube tray, put in a ziploc bag, label with contents and date and use whenever you need fresh basil (soups, sauces, dips, marinades, etc).
Enjoy 🙂

NOTES:  Blanching the basil helps the basil retain it’s bright green color!  

http://www.aroundthebaywithdd.com

Loving this Life Living “Around the Bay” ~ DD

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