MILLION-DOLLAR SPAGHETTI CASSEROLE
1 pound uncooked spaghetti
1/4 cup fresh parsley, chopped
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/2 cup butter, cut into chunks
8 ounces cottage cheese
8 ounces cream cheese, softened
1 pound ground beef
1 jar (25.5 ounces) tomato-basil pasta sauce
1/4 cup heavy whipping cream
8 ounces mozzarella cheese, shredded or sliced
Heat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease 13-by-9-inch (3-quart) baking dish.
Cook spaghetti to al dente as directed on package.
Meanwhile, in medium bowl, beat eggs, parsley and Parmesan cheese with whisk.
Drain spaghetti, and add it right back to the hot pot.
Add the butter and the egg mixture to the spaghetti, and quickly toss until evenly coated and the eggs have formed a sauce. Add mixture to baking dish.
Add cottage cheese and cream cheese to the pot you tossed the spaghetti in, and mix until combined. Pour the cheese mixture directly over the spaghetti mixture, spreading it out in an even layer.
Heat 10-inch skillet (or use the pot you cooked the spaghetti in) over medium heat, and brown the beef, 5 to 8 minutes; drain. Remove from heat, and stir in the pasta sauce and cream. Spread mixture over cheese layer. Then add the mozzarella cheese in an even layer over top.
Place baking dish on large cookie sheet. Bake 30 to 45 minutes, or until the cheese is melted and lightly browned on top. Cool 5 minutes before serving. Serve with fresh mozzarella and basil, if desired. Serves 8.
TIPS: This dish can be fully assembled ahead of time, covered and refrigerated, then baked just before dinner. Remove dish from the fridge and leave out on the counter while heating the oven.
This dish can be baked, cooled and then frozen. Just wrap tightly in plastic wrap or foil. When ready to use, thaw in the fridge overnight, remove plastic wrap, and bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes.
If your family does not eat beef, ground chicken or turkey can be used in its place.