Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Baked Spaghetti Alfredo with Meatballs in Marinara


If it were up to my daughter we would have spaghetti every night. Now, there's nothing inherently wrong with spaghetti. Except that it's kind of boring. Adding meatballs helps, but it's still just an ultra basic dish.

I'm more of an Alfredo fan. It's rich, creamy and so satisfying. But if I make Alfredo, my daughter won't eat it. Tired of battling out who gets their sauce of choice, I've found a solution: Baked Spaghetti Alfredo with Meatballs in Marinara.

It's a mouthful to say, but a delicious mouthful to eat.

This meal is really two meals in one. You prepare the spaghetti Alfredo, and then prepare the meatballs and marinara.

INGREDIENTS
3-4 cups thin spaghetti, cooked
Alfredo sauce
   1 pint heavy cream
   2 tsp garlic, minced
   1/2 tsp salt
   1/2 tsp pepper
   4 oz cream cheese
   4 Tbsp butter
   2 cups shredded Parmesan

1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
Oregano
Marinara sauce
Italian meatballs

DIRECTIONS

  1. Prepare the thin spaghetti according to package directions.
  2. Prepare the Alfredo sauce by placing heavy cream, garlic, salt and pepper in a medium sauce pan. Bring to a boil.
  3. Add the cream cheese (cut it into small pieces first) and butter. Use a whisk to combine until smooth.
  4. Just as the sauce begins to boil, add 2 cups Parmesan cheese. Use a whisk to stir until the cheese has melted and combined for a smooth Alfredo sauce.
  5. Combine the spaghetti and Alfredo sauce in a large mixing bowl.
  6. Spray a muffin tin with cooking spray and spoon the spaghetti/Alfredo mixture into each muffin cup. Pack down with a spoon and top with shredded mozzarella cheese. Sprinkle with oregano.
  7. Bake in a 350 degree oven for 20-25 minutes, or until the cheese is melted and starting to get some golden spots.
  8. Toward the end of baking, heat up marinara sauce and meatballs.
  9. Prepare the dish for serving by spooning marinara sauce on a plate. Add one or more baked spaghetti rounds, and top with meatballs.
This meal definitely takes some timing and preparation, but it's worth it. The baked spaghetti Alfredo is rich and full of texture since it has been baked and crisps up a little. The Alfredo mingles with the bright marinara for an explosion of flavor. And the meatballs add some needed protein to balance everything out.

It's a meal kids and adults can both agree should be made again.

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