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Spaghetti Casserole – Enough to dine all week!

 It is so nice to come home from work and see that dinner preparations have been started.  Especially since it would be a late dinner because our son is involved with after school sports.  I had a few minutes to watch the “chef” prepare his casserole before I headed back out for the pick-up. And with Fall upon us a hearty casserole is great to have on a brisk evening.  
This one came from Trisha Yearwood on Food Network.  I had not pictured her as a chef on Food Network, rather a country music star.  With the number of real cooking shows dwindling and more and more food competitions on the network, I will check out her show.  No more Neely’s or Tyler Florence’s cooking shows.  Remember them?  Even the real chef’s are on some kind of competition show. Hey Food Network, Bring back real recipes for real people!

Spaghetti Casserole

Ingredients

Cooking spray, for greasing pan
6 slices bacon, cut into 1/2-inch pieces

1 clove garlic, minced

1 medium onion, chopped

1 bell pepper, chopped

Three 14 1/2-ounce cans diced tomatoes with liquid

One 2 1/4-ounce can sliced black olives, drained

1 to 2 tablespoons dried oregano

1 pound ground beef, browned and drained (We used meatloaf mix)

12 ounces thin spaghetti, cooked and drained

2 cups grated cheddar (5 ounces)

One 10-ounce can cream of mushroom soup

1/4 cup grated Parmesan

 Directions

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a 9-by-13-by-2-inch baking dish with cooking spray.
In a large skillet, cook the bacon until slightly crisp. With a slotted spoon, transfer the bacon to a paper-towel-lined plate to drain. Sauté the garlic, onion and bell pepper in the bacon drippings until tender. Add the tomatoes, olives, oregano, bacon and the cooked ground beef and simmer, uncovered, for 10 minutes.

Place half of the spaghetti in the prepared baking dish; top with half of the vegetable-beef mixture; and sprinkle with 1 cup of the cheddar. Repeat the layers. In a bowl, stir together the cream of mushroom soup and 1/4 cup water until smooth, and pour this over the casserole. Sprinkle with the Parmesan and bake, uncovered, for 30 to 35 minutes, or until heated through.

Adapted from “Home Cooking with Trisha Yearwood” by Trisha Yearwood (c) Clarkson Potter 2010

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