Go Back
+ servings
spatula lifting spaghetti from casserole dish
Print Recipe
5 from 6 votes

Spaghetti Bake

This Spaghetti Bake is loaded with a rich and tender bolognese, stuffed with 3 different cheeses then baked until golden, gooey and delicious!
Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time2 hrs
Total Time2 hrs 15 mins
Course: Dinner, Main Course
Cuisine: American, Italian
Servings: 8
Calories: 723kcal
Cost: £2 / $2.50

Equipment

  • Large Dutch Oven/Pot with Heavy Lid
  • Large Pot & Colander
  • Wooden Spoon, Ladle & Pasta Tongs
  • 9" x 13" Baking Dish (or similar size)
  • Sharp Knife & Chopping Board
  • Grater
  • Spatula/Turner (for serving)

Ingredients

  • 2lb / 1kg Ground Beef (preferably 10-12% fat)
  • 14oz / 400g Dried Spaghetti
  • 14oz / 400g Ricotta
  • 3 cups / 300g Mozzarella, shredded (see notes)
  • 1 cup / 80g freshly grated Parmesan
  • 3 cups / 750ml Tomato Passata (Pureed/Sieved Tomatoes in US)
  • 1 cup / 250ml Dry Red Wine (see notes)
  • 1 cup / 250ml Beef Stock
  • 2 Celery Stalks, finely diced
  • 1 large White Onion, finely diced
  • 1 large Carrot, grated on box grater or very finely diced
  • 3 cloves of Garlic, minced
  • 2 tbsp Tomato Puree (Tomato Paste in US)
  • 1.5 tbsp Worcestershire Sauce
  • 1 tbsp Dried Basil (or 1/4 cup finely diced Fresh Basil)
  • 1 tbsp Dried Parsley (or 1/4 cup finely diced Fresh Parsley)
  • 1 tsp Sugar, or to taste
  • 1/2 tsp Chilli Flakes, or to taste
  • Salt & Black Pepper, to taste
  • Olive Oil, as needed

Instructions

  • In a large pot add carrot, onion, celery and garlic to a good drizzle of oil over medium-high heat. Fry until they begin to brown, then add in beef. Break up with a wooden spoon and continue frying until it begins to brown. Season with a pinch of salt and pepper, then continue frying until fully cooked through.
  • Add in tomato puree and fry off for a couple of minutes, then pour in wine. Deglaze the pan if needed, then allow to simmer and soak into the beef for 5mins. After, pour in tomato passata, beef stock and Worcestershire sauce. Add in basil, parsley, chilli flakes, sugar, salt and pepper, then give it a good stir.
  • Lower heat to a gentle simmer and pop on the lid. Allow to simmer for AT LEAST 1 hour 30mins, stirring very occasionally. This will give time for the flavours to develop and really tenderize beef. After, remove the lid and allow to simmer until the sauce thickens (see video below for consistency reference). Take off the heat, stir in 1/4cup / 20g parmesan, check for seasoning, then place to one side.
  • Meanwhile, pop your spaghetti in heavily salted boiling water and cook until al dente. Very important not to fully cook the spaghetti, you want it still a little hard or it'll come out too soft once baked. Drain when needed, then place back in the same pot. Stir in two ladles of meat sauce.
  • In a large baking dish add half your spaghetti, then half of what's left of the meat sauce, followed by half your mozzarella. Top mozzarella with the second half of your spaghetti and meat sauce. Finish with a layer of ricotta, the rest of your mozzarella and the rest of your parmesan. Try and make sure as much ricotta is covered by parmesan/mozzarella as possible.
  • Place in the oven at 200C/390F for 30mins, or until golden on top and bubbling round the sides. Leave to rest for a few mins, then slices into portions and serve up!

Video

Notes

a) Cheese - This spaghetti bake is alllll about the cheese, so don't skimp out on the measurements! The mozzarella adds the epic cheese pull, the ricotta adds a nice creamy layer and the parmesan adds gorgeous flavour/helps the top go crispy. I have used other cheeses (Swiss/Cheddar) which work great.
b) Red Wine - Adds a nice depth of flavour to the bolognese. Most (if not all) of the alcohol will burn off, but if for whatever reason you don't want to add it just replace with more beef stock.
c) Make Ahead - I always like to make this fresh as I find it comes out slightly drier if left to rest before baking. But, you can either prep the bolognese or the whole thing in advance. Really important you don't fully cook the spaghetti because it will bloat as it rests. I'd also recommend keeping the sauce slightly less thick for that same reason. Just allow bolognese to cool, then combine, stack everything then cover in the fridge overnight. Add another 10mins or so onto cooking time if cooking straight from fridge. Can also just make the bolognese ahead of time, just cool, cover and store in the fridge until needed (2-3days should be fine, longer at your discretion).
d) Freezing - Can freeze before baking, just thaw in the fridge and bake as instructed. Or freeze portions after, thaw in fridge and reheat in microwave! In both instances ensure it's piping hot upon reheating. 
e) Calories - Whole recipe divided by 8 people based on using 1 tbsp olive oil for frying and 10% beef.

Nutrition

Calories: 723kcal | Carbohydrates: 47.61g | Protein: 50.45g | Fat: 33.31g | Saturated Fat: 16.626g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1.534g | Monounsaturated Fat: 11.819g | Trans Fat: 0.628g | Cholesterol: 143mg | Sodium: 674mg | Potassium: 913mg | Fiber: 2.8g | Sugar: 5.7g | Vitamin A: 2740IU | Vitamin C: 10.8mg | Calcium: 500mg | Iron: 5.49mg