When my father passed away in 2006, several church friends brought food to the funeral home to feed the many family members visiting that week. One of my favorite dishes was baked spaghetti from a lovely lady named Terry. This is my version, which is different from hers, but still stands as a tribute to her kindness in a difficult time.
- 1 lb ground sausage
- 1 24 oz jar pasta sauce
- 16 oz spaghetti noodles
- 2 eggs
- 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
- 24 oz small-curd cottage cheese
- 2 cups shredded mozzarella
- 2 tsp garlic (minced or paste)
- Parsley to garnish (optional)
Brown sausage and drain in colander placed over large bowl, saving about 2 tbsp grease (can use empty sauce jar to dispose of remainder). Return to pan and stir in sauce; pour 1/4 cup water into empty jar and shake to get any sauce sticking to sides before pouring water into pan as well. Reduce heat to medium low. Break pasta in half and cook to al dente; drain. When sausage grease is cooled, add eggs and whisk until frothy; stir in Parmesan. Add noodles, stir well to coat, then return to pot. In same bowl, combine cottage cheese with half the mozzarella and the garlic. Spray 13 x 9 x 2 inch pan (or 2 smaller dishes) with cooking spray. Spread half the pasta on the bottom, top with half the meat mixture, then all of the cheese mixture. Repeat pasta and meat layers and top with remaining mozzarella; sprinkle with parsley if desired. Cover with foil and bake for 1 hour at 350 degrees (uncover for the final 15 minutes). Add salad and garlic bread* for a complete meal!
*(For garlic bread as shown: half and split 1 loaf Italian or French bread; stir together 1 stick softened butter, 2 tbsp grated Parmesan cheese, 1 tsp garlic powder, and 1 tsp parsley and spread evenly over bread. Bake with spaghetti for the final 15 minutes.)