A Family Builds a Homestead in the Rain

Leftover Spaghetti “Lasagna”

When we make a big batch of spaghetti and meatballs, we usually have abundant leftovers. I like to have dinner leftovers, because they make the best easy lunches and quick snacks for our toddler.

However, we don’t use a microwave, and some foods are more amenable to stovetop reheating than others. Some leftovers I just pop into the oven or toaster oven to heat; others I steam. Pasta tends to get mushy on the stovetop and dry out in the oven. So whatever we don’t eat cold, we like to make a baked spaghetti “lasagna” for a second dinner round.

This can easily be done with other pastas, like penne or macaroni, with or without meatballs. Pasta with hearty vegetables is great, and you can always fry up a little ground lamb or sausage or blanch some fresh veggies to layer in on whatever pasta you’ve got in the fridge.

We happened to have a nice selection of cheeses in the fridge last night, so we used a combination of sheep’s milk gouda and young asiago with a sprinkle of parmesan over the top. We’ve done it with cheddar or mozzarella before, too. Fresh ricotta would be a fantastic addition.

To assemble the casserole, we slice the meatballs into 1/3-inch-thick rounds. We spread a very small amount of olive oil over the bottom of a casserole or Dutch oven and tuck in about a 3/4- or inch-thick layer of sauced noodles. In go the meatball rounds, arranged in the next layer, and grated cheese goes over the top. We repeat these layers to fill the dish and sprinkle the top with parmesan and crumbled dried oregano.

The casserole bakes at 375 degrees for 20 or 25 minutes, until it’s heated through and the cheese is beginning to brown.

We serve it with a great heap of fresh salad greens drizzled with a simple vinaigrette or olive oil and vinegar for perfect balance.

As we ate dinner last night, we asked ourselves why we would ever go out. We rarely do, but even special occasions turn out best spent at home with real food, even if it’s just repurposed pasta and greens picked fresh from the backyard.

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6 Comments

  1. This Little Blue Homestead This Little Blue Homestead
    January 16, 2015    

    Looks fantastic! We did the baked marsala from Smitten kitchen last night and it was pretty great. Love the huge batch of baked pasta in winter and you really can’t beat leftovers!

    • January 16, 2015    

      Mm, that sounds great! Love having a nice warm kitchen and the small of herbs and cheese!

  2. January 16, 2015    

    What a great idea this is. I think I may purposely make extra pasta so I can give this dish a whirl. It looks delicious.

    • January 16, 2015    

      Thanks, Susan! You should! It’s such an easy go-to for a busy evening, but turns out almost better than the original pasta!

  3. bobbi dougherty bobbi dougherty
    January 16, 2015    

    Looks so yummy! We do a spaghetti bake for leftover spaghetti, but next time will definitely try this. Looks even better! lol

    • January 16, 2015    

      Thanks Bobbi! Hope you enjoy– sounds like you have a good leftovers program too!!

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I'm Kelly. Writer, crafter, forager, country winemaker, cook. Mama of an awesome toddler and married to my best friend. We recently returned to the Pacific Northwest, where we're setting out to grow, make, and learn as much as we can as the future unfolds.

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