I love pasta in all its forms, and so have amassed a small collection of recipes easier than making everything from scratch and harder than throwing a box of spaghetti into a pot of boiling water. Baked spaghetti happens to be my favorite easy recipe, and is very delicious as well, being... well... baked like lasagna, but offering less hassle and time consumption.

Approximate prep time: One hour
Approximate cook time: 30 minutes
Servings: 12 squares roughly 4 x 4 inches

What you need:

1 box of spaghetti, linguine, or angel hair noodles
1 large jar of your favorite spaghetti sauce
1 bag of mozzarella cheese
3 small zucchini
1 small bag of julienne carrots
1 large sweet onion
1 bunch of celery
any seasonings you prefer, though I usually use garlic powder, salt and pepper
your oil of preference for sauteeing
1 12 x 18 inch deep dish baking pan

To start, cube the zucchini into roughly 1/2 by 1/2 inch pieces. Dice the onion. Slice the celery into 1/4 inch wide pieces.

Saute each vegetable with your seasonings and a small bit of oil on medium heat. Cook the zucchini, carrots, onion and celery separately, because they all take different amounts of time to cook. Put these all into a very large bowl after sauteeing and stir with a spoon to mix them up, then add more seasonings if you prefer. Add your jar of spaghetti sauce to the vegetables and stir until thoroughly mixed.

Next, turn your oven to 350 degrees F. In a large pot, boil water then put in your noodles. Stir occasionally until they are cooked to al dente. When the noodles are done, put them in the large bowl with the vegetable/sauce mixture and stir until everything is mixed together. Pour the noodles into your baking pan and put the pan into the oven. Let the noodles bake for 20 minutes, then remove the pan and add the mozarella cheese evenly over the top. Put the pan back in the oven for another 10 minutes.

Take the pan out of the oven and let it stand for 15 minutes, then cut with a sharp knife into 12 pieces.

Bear in mind, this recipe can be made in larger or smaller quantities by halving or doubling the recipe. Also, feel free to add other vegetables like fresh tomatoes or mushrooms. If you prefer, cooked ground beef or cubed chicken can be added with the vegetables or substituted for them.

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