At first glance, long time readers of this here food blog thing-y are gonna be saying:
But, no. This is not, in fact Johnny Mazetti Spaghetti; there are a few key differences. First, this is made from leftover spaghetti and pasta sauce, and, mebbe the biggest difference; there is a center layer of cottage cheese and sour cream.
•Cooked spaghetti (about 1/2 pound)
•1 cup small curd cottage cheese
•1/2 cup sour cream
•Shredded Mozzarella cheese
•Shredded Parmesan cheese
•1 lb ground pork
•1/2 sweet onion, diced
•1/2 tsp garlic powder
•1/2 tsp dried parsley
•Sliced, pickled hot cherry peppers
•1 tbsp Sherry Peppers Sauce
No Sherry Peppers Sauce? No Problem! You can, of course, skip this addition, or, consider adding a bit of good sherry and perhaps a bit of your favorite hot sauce, to taste.
*I had made a vegetarian version of my Best! Doctored Pasta Sauce for dinner one night and cooked a full pound of Dreamfields high fiber pasta to go with it. We obviously had leftovers, so used the sauce and pasta for this recipe, adding some additional cooked meat and stuff.
Cook the ground pork and sweet onion in a large saucepan over medium high heat for ten minutes, until the onion is tender and the pork is mostly cooked through; breaking the pork up into small pieces.
Add the garlic powder, dried parsley, cherry pepper slices, and Sherry Peppers Sauce and continue cooking until the pork is well and truly cooked, a bit crispity in places, and most of the cooking liquid has been cooked off.
Pop your leftover spaghetti into the ‘wave for 30 seconds to loosen it up.
Add the leftover pasta sauce to the pan you cooked the pork in and stir over low heat to loosen it up as well. Stir in the drained pork mixture and the leftover spaghetti until well combined.
Heat your oven to 400º and lightly brush a 2-1/2 quart baking pan with olive oil.
Stir the cottage cheese together with the sour cream in a bowl and set aside.
Note: pay attention to ingredient labels! The cottage cheese I buy is full (4%) fat; and the ingredients are: milk, cream, salt. Compare and contrast that list with a container of 2% or fat free cottage cheese.
Spread one half of your spaghetti mixture across the bottom of the oiled baking pan.
Spread the cottage cheese and sour cream mixture over the top of the spaghetti to cover in an even layer.
Top this with the remaining spaghetti mixture, patting it down to compress and even out the top of the casserole.
Top this with the Mozzarella and Parmesan cheeses, then, if you have any (you really should), sprinkle a good bit of Aleppo pepper over the top.
Pop this into your hot oven and bake, uncovered, for 30 to 40 minutes; until the casserole is hot and bubbly, and the cheese melted and brown.
Remove from the oven, let rest for ten minutes, then slice and serve with a nice salad and mebbe some hot garlic bread on the side.
Really; all leftovers should be this good!
By the way, if you like, fell free to further channel Johnny Mazetti Spaghetti and add sliced black olives to this dish as well.