Recipe video above. It's your favourite Bolognese - in the form of a juicy pasta bake! Do a quick simmer - or go all out and slow cook for a couple of hours for a richer sauce and melt-in-your-mouth beef. **FREEZER BEAUTY!** Can even bake from frozen (see notes).
Keyword: spaghetti bake, spaghetti casserole, spaghetti pie
Servings: 10- 12
3garlic cloves, minced
1onion, finely chopped
1carrot, finely diced (optional)
1stick celery, finely diced (optional)
750g / 1.5lb ground beef (mince)
3/4 cup (185ml)dry red wine(or sub with water or beef broth/stock)
3beef bouillon cubes, crumbled (Note 1)
1.2kg / 2.4 lb crushed tomato, canned
1 - 3tspwhite sugar, if needed (Note 2)
3dried bay leaves
2sprigs fresh thyme(or 1/2 tsp dried thyme or oregano)
Salt and pepper
500g/ 1lb spaghetti
8 - 10slicesSwiss cheese(or other type), enough for a layer
2 cups (200g) mozzarella cheese, shredded
Heat oil in a large, heavy based pot over medium high heat.
Add garlic and onion, cook 2 minutes.
Add celery and carrot, cook 3 minutes.
Turn heat up to high, add beef and cook, breaking it up as you go.
Once beef is brown, add wine. Simmer rapidly for 2 minutes.
Add remaining Sauce ingredients, stir.
Bring to simmer, lower heat, cover with lid. Simmer for 45 minutes (minimum) or 1.5 - 2 hours (best!).
If liquid evaporates too much, add water - should be saucy (see video/pics). Adjust salt and pepper to taste.
Assemble & Bake:
Preheat oven to 180C/350F.
Cook pasta per packet directions, minus 1 minute.
Drain, then return into pot.
Add just over half the Sauce, toss.
Spread half the pasta in a casserole pan, spread with half remaining Sauce.
Top with cheese slices, then remaining pasta, remaining Sauce, finish with mozzarella.
Remove foil (reserve), bake further 10 minutes than remove.
Cover loosely with foil, stand 10 - 15 minutes. Then cut slices with a knife and use a spatula to serve pieces like lasagna!
1. Beef bouillon cubes - or 3 tsp beef stock powder. If you can't find it, add 2 cups of beef stock and simmer with LID OFF. You will need to add more salt.2. Sugar - use a touch only if needed, can adjust towards end. Depends on the sweetness of the canned tomatoes - good quality Italian brands are sweeter, value house brands can be rather sour.3. Freezing - best to assemble, cover, cool then freeze. Defrost in fridge 24 hours, then bake per recipe. If baking from frozen, keep covered with foil and bake 50 minutes or until knife inserted in centre comes out hot, then 10 minutes uncovered. Can also freeze after baking. Best to thaw then reheat in microwave (only 2 minutes or so per piece).4. Storage - Keeps extremely well for 4 days in the fridge, reheats perfectly in microwave!5. Nutrition per serving, assuming 10 servings (generous piece!)