Tips On How To Make Baked Spaghetti
This one-pan dish is easy if you have time to wait.
Have you tried the baked feta pasta trend earlier this year? If you did, you know how easy it was to make! You just needed the right ingredients and an oven to make it. However, did you know that this trend is not all that unique? What is unique is that its process is fun but the recipe itself is really a one-pot pasta recipe.
This baked feta pasta trend, also known as baked spaghetti, is a version of the one-pot pasta recipe which was hacked to be cooked in the oven instead of on the stovetop.
What is a one-pot pasta?
A one-pot pasta dish is exactly that: a pasta dish that is cooked in just one pot. The big difference between the one-pot pasta and the baked spaghetti trend: it's all cooked in the baking dish and not the pot. The baked spaghetti is combined in a baking dish and then baked instead of cooked on the stove much like a baked macaroni would be made.
There are advantages to making this kind of meal: you have fewer dishes to wash and you just have to wait for the dish to cook through since everything it needs is already in the pan!
The best reason to make these kinds of one-pot dishes is really the less clean-up needed to make a meal. It's a busy person's trick to not only eliminate another task they have to do but also still serve a delicious and hearty dish, all in one go.
However, not all pasta recipes are easy to make into a baked spaghetti recipe. You'll have to do some tweaking to the existing recipe to get it to result in a perfectly baked spaghetti dish.
If you want to hack a spaghetti recipe and make it into a baked spaghetti recipe, here's what you need to know to make it happen:
1 Cook the pasta in a flavorful liquid.
It doesn't have to be water! In fact, you can add a stock cube or granules into the water to make sure that your pasta emerges from the oven super tasty! This tip is especially great for spaghetti recipes that don't use a creamy sauce or a tomato sauce as the base. Oil-based pasta can easily be made in the oven, too, if you use broth or stock.
You can even just season the water. This is a great way to make more Asian-inspired pasta dishes that need sauces and condiments added to the mix. The water will help the ingredients become better distributed throughout the dish so you won't have to do much mixing as it is baked.
2 Use enough liquid but not too much.
A big challenge is knowing how much water or liquid to use with the spaghetti. First, you need to know how much pasta you are going to cook so it's a good idea to not go overboard with the liquid. You can always add more hot water if the pasta is not yet cooked to your liking when it has absorbed most of the liquid.
3 Season with salt to taste afterward.
A big mistake you might do is to season with salt too heavily in the beginning. You might normally season the water with salt but since the water will be absorbed by the other ingredients, the best practice is to hold off on the salt until after the pasta is cooked through.
That's because the other ingredients you added to the pan might already make your pasta seasoned enough that any salt added to it might be too much already. The baked spaghetti is meant to be super flavorful down to the last noodle so give it a taste before you adjust the salty seasoning with more.
4 Mix it well.
You might think that it needs some more salt but if you don't mix it well you might find that some parts are tastier than other parts. Fix this by mixing the pasta both before baking and halfway through cooking. This not only distributes the ingredients all throughout the dish but you'll also break up any spaghetti noodles trying to clump together.
5 Top it off with cheese.
You may not want a cheese pull but someone always does! Whether it's a creamy pasta or a tomato spaghetti version, top your baked spaghetti with stretchy mozzarella cheese or a combination of cheese to make it creamy and tasty, too.
Thinking about what to cook next? Join our Facebook group, Yummy Pinoy Cooking Club, to get more recipe ideas, share your own dishes, and find out what the rest of the community are making and eating!
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