A blog by ordinary people about living an extraordinary life
Bobby Deen, Paula Deen’s younger son, has a new show on The Cooking Channel where he tries to make his mother’s fat and butter-filled recipes healthy (I do love her recipes). There was an example of this in the most recent Food Network Magazine. Bobby took Paula’s baked spaghetti recipe, replaced the pork sausage with chicken sausage, used part skim mozzarella cheese and whole wheat pasta, saving about 100 calories per serving. I took an attempt to make the recipe vegetarian, and even a bit healthier. With some homemade whole wheat spaghetti, I added additional mushrooms, onions and peppers to replace the sausage. The addition of fresh parsley upped the flavor in the sauce. I consider this a success.
Cook the pasta as indicated (the fresh pasta takes 3 minutes to cook), drain and put in a bowl.
Preheat the oven to 375F.
In a non-stick skillet, sauté the onion, seasoned with salt and pepper, in the olive oil over medium heat for about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and sauté for an additional 2 minutes. Add the mushrooms and peppers, continuing to cook for 5 minutes. Add the parsley, basil, crushed tomatoes and the water, bring to a simmer, and cook for an additional 15 minutes until the sauce begins to thicken. Add the sauce to the spaghetti.
Spray a 2-quart casserole dish with cooking spray. Add half the spaghetti and sauce mixture. Cover with 1/4 cup of each of the cheeses. Add the other half of the spaghetti and top with the remaining cheese. Bake in the oven for 15-20 minutes, until bubbling. Allow to rest for 5 minutes before serving.