Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Yankee Swap & Baked Spaghetti

Yesterday I ran just over 5 miles at 7:15am in 30 degree weather at 9:12 pace.  I met my friend Meg and we ran all through Charlestown (where The Town took place) and it was awesome.  Felt great to be back there after my ankle sprain.  Time to get crankin' on training since I have officially signed up for Hyannis and am 90% sure I will sign up for National Half.  

Moving on... yesterday we had our department Yankee Swap!  Check out the grub...
Turkey Chili, Veggies and Dip, Spinach Cheese Dip, Baked Spaghetti, Salad with Pomegranates and Squash, Butternut Squash Lasagna and lots of sweets...
And the salad... pomegranate seeds are amazing... I cannot believe I've never had them.  They are amazing and I am now obsessed....
I made the Baked Spaghetti off BakedBree.  Recipe below.  This is such a fun way to do something creative with baked Italian dishes.
Check out all my delicious food.  Definitely a lot of food for the middle of the day, but it was all so good!
Yankee Swap: 14 Gifts.  Number 1 is the best, you get your choice to pick anything.  Number 14 is the second best number.  Number 2 is the worst.  I got #14!!!
The 14 Gifts:
Apples to Apples
Digital Picture Frame
4 Alcohol Gifts
Baking Set, Cookbook, Baking Sheet
Chinese Piggybank
Nerf Gun
Pillow for Airplanes
Scratch Tickets
iTunes Gift Card
Christmas Music CDs

I went home with Grey Goose.  I'm a Vodka girl so this made me very happy : ) 

On to the recipe: Baked Spaghetti.  I made the sauce on Saturday and the rest of the dish Sunday.  I made one dish for the department and one for Dave and I.  I really really liked this dish.  I just felt like it was something different and something I haven't seen before.  Bree found this on FoodGawker and I was excited to try it.  It definitely didn't dissappoint...
The first part of this dish is making the Crockpot Marinara Sauce.  This is such an easy way to make tomato sauce without babysitting it.  Set it and forget it.  For 10-12 hours on low.  Occasional mix.  Sauce done. (I made the sauce Saturday and actually have a ton leftover)
Crockpot Marinara Sauce:
1 (28-ounce) can crushed tomatoes in rich puree
1 (28-ounce) can no sugar tomato sauce
1 (6-ounce) can tomato paste
1 cup water
1/2 cup red wine
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
3 cloves minced garlic
3 teaspoons sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
2 teaspoons onion powder
1 teaspoon sweet paprika
1 teaspoon Italian Seasoning
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon dried basil
1/8 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 large bay leaf
 To assemble the Baked Spaghetti:
4 cups Crockpot Marinara Sauce
1 pound hot Italian sausage
1 pound spaghetti
1/2 cup reserved pasta water
2 Tablespoons butter
1 Tablespoon olive oil
1 (32-ounce) container part-skim ricotta cheese
1 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
1 cup Asiago Cheese shredded
2 cups shredded mozarella
Add the sausage to a pan over medium to medium high heat.  Break up the sausage and brown.  Drain off the fat and set aside.  Preheat your oven to 400 degrees.
Cook the spaghetti in salted water.  Drain and reserve some of the the cooking water.  Put in a large skillet and toss with the butter and olive oil. 
In a bowl, mix together the ricotta cheese, the reserved pasta water, and 1 cup of the Parmesan cheese.  Season with salt and pepper.
 Spread the noodles into a 10×15 baking dish.  I do have a pan that big but because I wanted to use this for two dishes (one for work and one for us) I used a 11×7 and an 8×8.  Cover with the sausage.
Spread the ricotta cheese mixture evenly over the sausage and then spread the tomato sauce on top of the ricotta.
Top with the mozzarella cheese and the remaining Parmesan cheese.
Bake for 35 to 40 minutes or until the cheese is golden brown and bubbly.  Rest for 10 minutes before cutting.
Enjoy! It's delicious!


  1. That baked spaghetti looks awesome! We have a Yankee swap tomorrow at work... hope I get a good number like you did!

  2. The spaghetti looks delicious!

    We do a Yankee swap at work too, but we must play a different way because in ours, the last number is the best!

    Vodka is my preferred alcohol, too. We're too similar!

  3. Mmm baked pasta dishes are so appealing to me when it's cold outside! And the yankee swap looks so fun - I was an RA in college and for our holiday party we did one, it turned into a pretty intense event with people stealing each other's gifts, but so much fun :)

  4. Baked Spaghetti looks awesome but my wife and I have just removed meat from our diet (as best we can) so will have to give it ago without the sausage.

    Thanks for sharing.

  5. Yankee swaps are so much fun! We do a huge family Yankee Swap and it gets really intense, in a good way! I am super excited about the ridiculous gift I'm swapping this year. We always have lots of laughs.

    We're having a potluck at work next Wednesday. I hope it is as delicious as yours :)

  6. Fun! The crock pot marinara is definitely on my to-do list! We are doing our pot luck tomorrow. I'm making a 5 bean salad and I made some chocolate covered popcorn last night!

  7. I'm so jealous of your present. Gimme!

  8. The baked spaghetti looks so good, I wish I had that for lunch today! My work yankee swap is tomorrow, we usually get very similar gifts as you listed!

  9. That's an awesome gift to win at the swap. Grey Goose martinis are the best.

  10. Printing out the baked spaghetti... YUM!!!

  11. I'm glad you had such a good run! :) The baked spaghetti looks really good. I don't think I've ever seen that made before.

    We do not do anything nearly this fun for work. Our Christmas party was at a local sports bar (before it opened and they were told they were NOT allowed to serve us alcohol haha) and my team was strongly encouraged (aka pretty much forced) to join a "band" and perform two health-related songs set to the tune of popular Christmas Carols. Fun times. ;)

  12. I have never tried baked spaghetti but now I HAVE too...amazing. Looks like a blast and girl you are GORGEOUS!