As many of you know, my Father died May 3. My brother and I have just gotten up from a week of Shiva. As we enter the next period of mourning-30 days-I plan to post our Father’s favorite recipes in his memory. Daddy loved the food from his childhood and the food served in great restaurants around the world. He loved the pomp and ceremony of a sommelier decanting an old Bourdeaux at the table, the crisp skin of Canard a L’Orange, and the fluffiness of Quenelles; but he also really enjoyed fried chicken, rice pudding mixed with fruit, Poire Belle Helene (which he called-really just fruit), Coconut Lemon Layer Cake and Baked Spaghetti-just to name a few of his favorites.
Baked Spaghetti was a recipe that my Grandma Fanny made when Dad was a child. I watched his older sister, our Aunt Hilda, make it when we used to spend private time together. I remember loving to go to her house to pat the belly of the big porcelain Buddha that sat on the foyer table, help her make the Baked Spaghetti and walk her dog-Peppy. It was Aunt Hilda who taught me that I could make this easy casserole in a large casserole dish for the family; but if I wanted it to look fancier, I could bake it in individual portions. I made it the fancy way for Dad’s 95th Birthday Party at which two of Aunt Hilda’s daughters, as well as his younger sister’s (our Aunt Elaine) daughter- my Father’s nieces were present. I love the way food continues to stir up so many memories and binds the generations together.
Prep time: 20 minutes
By May 12, 2014Published:
- 6 Servings
- 1 pound cappelini
- 1/2 pound sharp cheddar cheese shredded
- 1/4 pound Sweet Butter softened
- 16 ounces tomato sauce homemade/bottled
- 1/2 cup cornflake crumbs/Panko
- baking spray
- 1 spaghetti pot
- 1 13x9x2 oven to table casserole
- Parboil pasta according to package directions. Drain pasta and pour back into the pot.
- Add cheese, butter and tomato sauce to pasta. Mix well. Preheat oven to: 375 F.
- Spray casserole dish. Pour spaghetti mixture into casserole. Smooth out the top. Sprinkle with cornflake crumbs/Panko; Bake for 30-45 minutes until mixture is bubbling and browned. Serve hot with a big salad.
- Note: This recipe can be divided into 12 average size muffin cups. Spray each muffin cup and reduce cooking time to about 20 minutes or until you see the sides becoming crisp and the top browned. Let spaghetti cool five minutes in pan before running a spatula around the sides and unmolding them..