This cheesy spaghetti bake is a cross between spaghetti bolognese and lasagne. It’s more indulgent than spaghetti bolognese, but quicker to make than lasagne.
The spaghetti gets cooked in with the bolognese sauce (just stir it in as it starts to soften), meaning one less saucepan to wash and no need to drain the spaghetti in a colander either.
A generous layer of cheese sauce adds an extra level of deliciousness, while helping to keep the spaghetti bolognese nice and juicy.
Serve with a side salad if you like, although there are already plenty of hidden veggies in the bolognese sauce. A bit of garlic bread wouldn’t go amiss either!
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This cheesy spaghetti bake is a cross between spaghetti bolognese and lasagne. The spaghetti is cooked with the bolognese for less dishes, and the layer of cheese sauce adds a bit of indulgence.
Dice mushrooms, carrot and onion. Crush garlic.
Heat oil in a large non-stick pot on medium-high. Add mince and cook, breaking up, until browned all over. Add mushrooms, carrot, onion and garlic and cook until just starting to soften.
Stir in crumbled stock cubes and oregano. Add tomato paste, Worcestershire sauce, sugar, canned tomatoes and water. Bring to a rapid simmer, then add spaghetti. Cook, stirring occasionally, for 13 minutes, until sauce has thickened and spaghetti is just al dente.
Meanwhile, preheat oven to 180ºC (360ºF) fan bake. Melt butter in a medium saucepan until bubbling. Stir in flour and cook for 30 seconds. Gradually whisk in milk until you form a smooth sauce. Cook for a few more minutes, stirring frequently, until sauce has thickened (coats the back of a spoon). Stir in mustard and Colby cheese, then remove from heat.
PREPARE SPAGHETTI BAKE
Stir spinach into bolognese mixture and season with salt and pepper to taste. Transfer to a 25cm / 10in round baking dish and pour cheese sauce on top. Sprinkle with parmesan or extra Colby and bake for 15-20 minutes, until bubbling and golden.
Let spaghetti bake rest for a couple of minutes, then spoon onto warmed serving plates or bowls. Chopped parsley or basil makes a nice garnish if you have some on hand.
WINE MATCH: A Sangiovese.
GLUTEN-FREE OPTION: Use gluten-free stock cubes and make sure Worcestershire sauce is gluten-free. Choose your favourite gluten-free spaghetti (cooking time may need to be adjusted slightly). Swap plain flour for plain gluten-free flour.
INGREDIENT SWAPS / NOTES: You can omit the mushrooms and increase mince to 550g / 1lb 3oz. There are quite a few veggies already included in this meal, but a small side salad makes a nice addition if you have the ingredients on hand.
STORING AND REHEATING: Store individual portions in containers in the fridge and reheat in the microwave.