Tuesday, March 19, 2013 / 16 Comments / , , , , , , , ,

Baked Spaghetti with Burrata (Vegan & Gluten Free Options)

Spaghetti is still one of my kids' favorite dinners. I love spaghetti too, but it gets a little, well... boring when you make it the same way over and over. Thankfully I got an email last week from a reader requesting a baked spaghetti to feed 8 people. I thought baked spaghetti was a great idea for entertaining - it's a crowd-pleaser and can be prepared well in advance. I love that I can assemble this whole recipe whenever I get a chance and pop it in the oven right before dinner for a comforting homemade meal. Wouldn't this be perfect for after a late soccer/gymnastics/etc. practice?! Toss in any veggies you have in your fridge - we loved mushrooms, bell peppers, and capers... 

More after the break! 

If you haven't tried burrata, now is the time! It's just like fresh mozzarella cheese, only creamier. Fresh mozzarella is fine in this recipe too - just make sure it's packed in water. The kind in plastic will become rubbery. 

Baked Spaghetti with Burrata 
serves 8 

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil 
1 small yellow onion 
4 cloves garlic, minced 
1 teaspoon dried basil 
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon sea salt 
1/4 teaspoon freshly cracked pepper 
1 (28 oz) plus 1 (15 oz) can crushed tomatoes (or my favorite, 1-2 boxes Pomi strained tomatoes) 
1 (6 oz.) can tomato paste  
1 cup sliced bell pepper, any color 
1/2 cup sliced crimini mushrooms 
2 tablespoons capers (optional) 
8 oz. cooked meatballs (optional)
1 lb. spaghetti (whole wheat, gluten free, high protein, etc.) 
8 oz burrata or fresh mozzarella (packed in water), drained 

In a large pot over medium heat saute onion in olive oil until softened, about 10 minutes. Add garlic, basil, oregano, salt and pepper, and saute another minute. Stir in tomatoes and tomato paste and cook 15 minutes. Add peppers, mushrooms, capers, and meatballs and simmer until vegetables are just softened, about 3 minutes. 

Meanwhile, cook spaghetti until al dente according to package directions and drain. Preheat broiler. 

Toss spaghetti with sauce and transfer to a 9 x 13 inch casserole dish. Tear cheese into pieces and scatter over pasta. Place dish under broiler and cook 5 minutes, or until cheese has melted and browned in spots. 

Make Ahead Option: 
Assemble the entire dish and cover with foil. Refrigerate for up to 1 day. Instead of broiling, preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Bake uncovered for 40 minutes or until cheese is bubbling and browned. 

Vegan Option: 
Use vegan meatless meatballs and vegan mozzarella or parmesan cheese. 

Gluten Free Option: 
Use gluten free spaghetti and meatballs 

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