Guest Post: Beef and Mushroom Baked Spaghetti
Hi everyone! My name is Renée Kohlman and Sweetsugarbean is my food blog I’ve been writing for eight years. I live in beautiful Saskatoon, Saskatchewan where I happily whip up delicious creations in my little green kitchen. Being a chef as well as a food writer and recipe developer, I’m lucky to have turned my passion for all things food into a career I love. I’m especially proud of my award-winning debut cookbook All the Sweet Things which was released in the spring of 2017 and won GOLD at the Taste Canada Awards for Best Single Subject Cookbook of 2017. I’m so proud of that accomplishment! Free time (remind me what that is again!) includes gardening, reading and eating too much chocolate.
I’m always excited when Mushrooms Canada asks me to write a guest post for their blog. Mushrooms are a staple in my kitchen and it’s always a thrill to put them into new recipes. Because they have such a great meaty texture, mushrooms are a natural fit for blending and extending ground meat. This not only helps to save money at the checkout, but there are also nutritional bonus points. Mushrooms are great to use year-round as they are the only vegetable that contains vitamin D. Bursting with antioxidants and cancer-fighting compounds, not to mention being low in calories, mushrooms play an important and delicious part of my culinary adventures in the kitchen. I minced up cremini mushrooms for this comforting and delicious twist on spaghetti and meat sauce, but button or even portabella would be wonderful.
Spaghetti is a family favourite, and in this recipe mushrooms are diced up small and cooked with the ground beef in a savoury, well-seasoned tomato sauce. The fun part is adding cooked spaghetti to the skillet, along with ricotta, mozzarella and cheddar cheese. With plenty of crispy bits and golden cheesy goodness, this is one skillet meal that you’re sure to have on heavy rotation in your household. The dish can even be prepared the night before, then pop it in the oven when you’re ready to bake. Just add about 5-7 minutes to the baking time to ensure the pasta is heated through.
- 225 g dried spaghetti
- 1 Tbsp canola oil
- 250 g cremini mushrooms, finely chopped
- 1 small onion, finely chopped
- 500 g lean ground beef
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 2 tsp Italian seasoning
- 1 tsp dry mustard powder
- 1/2 tsp smoked paprika
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp black pepper
- 3 cups canned crushed tomatoes (not tomato sauce)
- 2 tsp brown sugar
- 2 cups baby kale or spinach
- 2 large eggs, beaten
- 1 cup ricotta cheese
- 1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
- 3/4 cup shredded cheddar cheese
- 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
- Preheat the oven to 400F.
- In a large pot of boiling water, cook spaghetti for 6-7 minutes or until almost al dente. Do not overcook as the pasta will continue to cook in the oven. Drain well and set aside.
- Meanwhile, in a 12-inch ovenproof skillet, heat the oil over medium-high heat. Sauté the mushrooms and onion for 3 minutes or until softened and no moisture remains in skillet. Add the beef and garlic. Cook, stirring and breaking up the meat with a wooden spoon, for about 10 minutes until the beef is no longer pink. Stir in the Italian seasoning, mustard powder, smoked paprika, salt and pepper, and cook for another minute or two.
- Turn the heat down to medium-low and stir in the crushed tomatoes and brown sugar. Cook for about 5 minutes. Stir in the baby kale or spinach and remove from the heat. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
- In a large bowl, combine the eggs, ricotta, mozzarella and cheddar. Gently stir the spaghetti into the skillet. Tongs work well for this. Stir in the cheese mixture – it’s okay if there are some pockets of cheese that aren’t blended. Smooth the top and cover with aluminum foil.
- Place skillet on a rimmed baking sheet and bake for 20 minutes. Uncover and sprinkle with the Parmesan. Bake for another 15 minutes or until the top is golden brown. Let the pasta cool for about 5 minutes before serving. Makes 4-6 servings.
Note: The pasta may also be baked in a greased 12-inch baking dish instead of the skillet.
This project was funded in part through the Canadian Agricultural Partnership (the Partnership), a federal-provincial-territorial initiative. The Agricultural Adaptation Council assists in the delivery of the Partnership in Ontario.