Baked spaghetti with sausage and beans

SOMETHING WEIRD IS HAPPENING in Rome. It’s snowing. And not just a little bit; we’ve got 6 to 8 inches of the fluffly stuff outside our door. This kind of weather calls for comfort food, pronto.

I’m trying to fight the urge to throw my slow cooker off our 5th story terrace master a few cook slow cooker recipes these days, and found one for marinara sauce which then becomes baked spaghetti. Done. The marinara sauce was quite good, though I added a grated carrot and onion because I don’t trust a red sauce recipe that omits these two crucial ingredients. So, I threw them in and I always add more spices because, well, we like things spiced up good around here.

As for the baked spaghetti, it was really nice! As has become my sleep-deprived-custom, I mixed up a couple of steps but did manage to add a can of white beans for added bite and protein. Next time I’d add spinach to make this a one-pot dinner. Last, I used whole wheat pasta, because I always do and it’s actually great for something as saucy as this. Adding a nutty texture too.

My substitutions are very minor and you can find the full recipes on The Cooking Photographer’s website. But if you’re into baked pasta dishes, I’d suggest a much simpler and possibly even more delicious dish by, you guessed it, Ina Garten. I’ve made her Penne with Five Cheeses on at least as many occasions and it can’t be beat. (Add sausage, beans, spinach or whatever you like to this one too.)

To set the mood/prove I haven’t lost my marbles (yet)…

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