Tag Archives: Italian food

Skillet Baked Spaghetti

I am dedicating this post to my hubby and mother-in-law (may she rest in peace).

Hubby and I were discussing our childhoods the other day and reminiscing about the comfort foods our mothers would make. One of the comfort foods my hubby mentioned was the baked spaghetti his mom would prepare for the family. Mom B. had a special frying pan with rings in the bottom that she would use to bake the spaghetti in. I kind of remembered a similar pan from my childhood my mom would use but I don’t think she used it for baking.

Skillet Baked Spaghetti was pulled together based on how Mom B. would make her baked spaghetti. As always, I added my own twist to the recipe but hubby said my version did remind him of his mom. What a great compliment. I was happy that we could share a moment from his childhood and feel the same warmth and comfort his mom’s cooking would bring to the family.

Fast forward to today and now I have a recipe I can share with my kids and grand kids that makes them feel the comfort we felt from old family recipes. Pasta is usually a hit with my family. Add spice to the mix and a crispy cheesy topping and it’s a home run.

Thanks Mom B. for leaving hubby with a wonderful memory and giving me a delicious recipe.

Skillet Baked Spaghetti

Ingredients:

1 box vermicelli pasta (prepare per package instructions and save ½ cup pasta water) al dente and drained

1 pkg hot sausage links (casing removed)

1 pkg Italian sausage links (casing removed)

1 large jar spaghetti sauce

1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese

¼ cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese

2 tbsp salt

1 tbsp ground black pepper

1 tbsp ketchup

1 tsp dried oregano

1 tsp dried basil

½ tsp turmeric

½ tsp onion powder

¼ tsp red pepper flakes (optional)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Brown the sausages in medium non-stick skillet over medium high heat. Remove most of the grease from the skillet then add the spaghetti sauce, ketchup and seasonings (except for the red pepper flakes). Stir to mix then reduce heat to medium low and simmer for 5 – 10 minutes.

After preparing pasta drain it and reserve ½ cup of the pasta water. Place the pasta back in the pot and add the spaghetti sauce. Mix well and add a little pasta water if the spaghetti seems dry. Spray a large cast iron skillet with cooking spray and drizzle a little olive oil on the bottom of the pan.

Place have of the spaghetti in the skillet then top with ½ of the shredded mozzarella and ½ of the Parmesan cheese. Top with the remaining spaghetti and sprinkle with the remaining cheese along with the red pepper flakes. Bake for 15 – 20 minutes until the top is slightly crispy and golden browned.

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Hot Italian Sandwich

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A good sandwich always starts with delicious bread. Some of the best bread comes from the bakery at your local grocer. I often find myself searching for different types of rolls for sandwiches when I want to make a tasty but quick family meal.

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The other day I found two different flat rolls that inspired me to try a new sandwich. An Italian roll and a jalapeno roll. The Italian roll was sprinkled with Parmesan cheese and oregano while the jalapeno roll was sprinkled with a little grated Parmesan cheese with slices of jalapeno peppers baked into the top of the bread. Both rolls smelled heavenly at the bakery and were so inviting that I had no choice but to put a couple of each in my basket. The Italian roll inspired me to create a Hot Italian Sandwich which turned out to me a winner in the family. I have made this sandwich a few times since my first try and it continues to be something the family enjoys. The sandwich is packed with soppressata, capicola ham and pepperoni sliced from the deli.

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Sandwiches are my go to meal whenever we are having a later than usual dinner because my son has a sporting event, school event or I have a bunch of errands after work. By the time we get home I don’t feel like preparing a complicated meal but I still want a balanced dinner. I really just want to get dinner on the table in less than 30 minutes so that we all still have time to relax before going to bed to prepare for another busy day.

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Hot Italian Sandwich

Ingredients:
2 – 3 flat bread rolls (jalapeno, Parmesan or regular) sliced in half
6 – 9 slices deli pepperoni
6 – 9 slices deli soppressata
6 – 9 slices deli capicola
1 large tomato sliced thin
4 – 6 slices provolone cheese
4 – 6 slices pepper jack cheese
2 tbsp pesto
¼ tsp red pepper flakes
¼ tsp oregano
1 tbsp Italian dressing
1 cup of shredded lettuce

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Mix Italian dressing with lettuce and set aside.

Spread pesto on bottom half of each roll. Place two slices of pepper jack cheese on the bottom half of each roll. Place on a cookie sheet.

On a separate cookie sheet pile 2 slices of capicola, 2 slices soppressata, 3 slices tomatoes sprinkled with oregano and red pepper flakes. Top tomatoes with pepperoni then 2 slices provolone cheese.

Place meats and bread in the oven until cheese melts approximately 2 – 3 minutes. Remove from oven and top bottom half of each roll with meat and lettuce. Place other half of roll on top of the lettuce and cut in half. Serve with chips or a cup of soup.

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