Do you have a favourite family recipe? We have a few. ‘Fridge pasta’ is one of them, which consists of pasta, plus whatever we can find in the fridge. ‘Crap from the freezer’ is another favourite. I think you can guess what that involves, suffice to say a lot of things tend to be covered in breadcrumbs. This easy spaghetti bake is another one.
When Bee came home a few months ago for her 20th birthday, she had a request. “Can we have the thing with the noodles?” she asked. I knew what she meant. It’s a dish I made up when she was small and we were poor, that basically involves cooking up some noodles, mixing them with a tin of condensed tomato soup, covering the lot with cheese, and baking in the oven.
It sounds like it might be a bit gross, but it’s actually amazing. The noodles sort of swell up and form this wonderful consistency, and you can pretty much slice the thing that comes out of the oven, like a pie. Once you start eating it, it’s hard to stop. I mean like REALLY hard. It’s one of those dishes that you find yourself making an excuse to go back into the kitchen for, just to get a bit on a fork while no one is looking.
The beauty of the dish though is that you can customise it according to your own tastes and what you have in the house. Sometimes, if I’m feeling adventurous, I’ll add some fried onion, or maybe some sweetcorn. The world is your oyster. Today I thought I’d fancy it up a bit and turn it into an easy spaghetti bake using actual fresh ingredients rather than just a can of old soup.
Easy spaghetti bake – ingredients
- Spaghetti or linguine
- Tomato sauce
- Fresh tomatoes
- Fresh basil
- Anything vaguely Italian in the fridge that you want to use up
Easy spaghetti bake – method
This bit couldn’t be simpler. In fact it’s so easy, that you’ve got plenty of time to open a nice bottle of Italian red wine to slurp on while you’re busy in the kitchen. Chef’s perks and all that.
Where was I?
Cook up the spaghetti, and while that’s bubbling away have a little glug of wine and chop up some nice tomatoes and a bit of basil. Put fresh herbs in anything and you immediately look like a better quality chef.
When the spaghetti is cooked, drain and mix together with the chopped things and the tomato sauce. The quantities aren’t especially key, just use your initiative. Have another quick sip of wine as a reward.
Cover with cheese and bake in a medium oven for twenty minutes or so, until the cheese looks delicious.
How simple is that? You should definitely have a go at your own easy spaghetti bake. Try my noodle soup version if you want to go low brow/extra comforting. If you love a tomato based dinner, why not try Belle’s easy tomato soup recipe?
Do you have a favourite family recipe?