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Spaghetti and Meatballs

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A few nights ago we had a date night in… life has been so busy that all we have wanted to do is stay home! So I made a spaghetti and meatball casserole. This was actually the first time I have ever made meatballs. Sad, I know!

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I got the recipe from my favorite magazine, Celebrate. This magazine has never lead me a stray! Great ideas and great recipes!

And you can’t go wrong with this recipe! Spaghetti topped with hearty meatballs, rich marinara sauce, and a modest amount of melted mozzarella cheese on top – this one is a keeper!

Spaghetti and Meatballs Casserole

Ingredients

  • 1/2 pound ground round
  • 1/2 
pound ground mild Italian sausage
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/3 
cup Italian-seasoned bread crumbs
  • 1/4 cup grated onion
  • 2 
tablespoons finely grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 teaspoon salt, divided
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 cup diced onion
  • 1 cup diced green bell pepper
  • 1 
(8-ounce) package sliced fresh mushrooms
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 4 cups marinara sauce
  • 1 
(16-ounce) package spaghetti, cooked according to package directions
  • 2 
cups shredded Monterey Jack cheese, divided
  • 1 
cup shredded mozzarella cheese, divided

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 375°. Line a rimmed baking sheet with foil. Place a wire rack over pan, and spray with cooking spray.
  2. In a large bowl, combine ground meats, next 4 ingredients, 
1/2 teaspoon salt, and next 
2 ingredients. Form mixture into 
1 3/4-inch balls. Place on prepared rack, and bake for 10 minutes.
  3. Reduce oven temperature to 350°. Spray a 3-quart baking dish with cooking spray.
  4. In a large Dutch oven, heat olive oil over medium heat. Add onion and bell pepper. Cook, stirring often, for 5 to 6 minutes or until vegetables are slightly tender. Add mushrooms and garlic, and cook for 2 to 3 minutes, stirring constantly. Add marinara sauce and remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt, stirring to combine. Add cooked pasta, 
1 1/2 cups Monterey Jack, and 1/2 cup mozzarella, stirring to combine. Spoon into prepared dish; top with meatballs and remaining 1/2 cup Monterey Jack and remaining 
1/2 cup mozzarella. Cover with foil, and bake for 20 minutes. Uncover, and bake 10 minutes more or until cheese is melted.
http://ourmapletree.com/spaghetti-and-meatballs/

 

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The salad was simple – baby greens, broccoli slaw (a new thing of us), bell peppers and tomatoes all served with ranch dressing.

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Very colorful and the broccoli slaw adds a nice crunch to the salad!

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And dessert was just as simple! I mixed a box of brownies and added toffee and semi-sweet chocolate bits. Baked as instructed on the box, then added carmel, toffee bits and chopped pecans. The carmel is what makes this oh so good! (I used Breyers brand of carmel.)

date night brownie

All washed down with a glass of red wine, of course! As Gino said in Italy, “Wine should never leave the table!”

This meal is great for weeknights, it is quick and easy (just cook the meatballs ahead of time). And it is perfect for a big crowd… I’m pretty sure we ate on this casserole for a good week – lunch and dinner!

Something about spaghetti and meatballs just hits the spot! Enjoy!

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