In honor of Sharon’s* returning home from Memphis I made my family recipe baked spaghetti and cheese.
It’s not high cuisine, and given Sharon’s wheat sensitivity, I made a separate batch for her with rice pasta.
It’s not particularly healthy, but it is home in a profoundly deep and meaningful way, at least for me, my family, and my brothers.
- 2–½ lbs. Spaghetti
- 2 lbs. American Cheese or Velveeta® (You might be able to substitute with a low moisture mozerella)
- 16 oz. Cottage Cheese
You can also add other cheeses, about 8 oz. Cheddar provides a nice flavor, and helps keep it from sticking by rendering fat out when it cooks.
A bit of fresh mozzarella would probably be good too, though I am less sanguine about Swiss cheese (Emmentaler).
You cook the spaghetti no more than al dente, and drain it. You want it barely done or slightly underdone because it will take up moisture from the cheese during the cooking.
Then take the cottage cheese and put it in the pasta pot, and heat gently and melt all the cheese until you have a rather viscous sauce.
A non stick pan works, as does properly seasoned cast iron.
Then don gloves (otherwise, you will be picking cheese from under your finger nails for 3 days), and mix in the pasta until evenly distributed.
Cover the pot, and cook for about 45 minutes at 350°F (175°C), then remove the lid, and raise the temperature to 450° (235°C) and allow everything to crisp up for about 15 minutes.
Remove from oven and allow to cool for at least 15 minutes, since it is at a temperature approaching that at the heart of the sun,† then cut up and serve.
You can put sauce on it if you like, but I don’t as I prefer the undiluted cheese and pasta explosion.
Unfortunately for my reader(s) this culinary experience has an intensely soporific effect, so I’m done for the night.
*Love of my life, light of the cosmos, she who must be obeyed, my wife.
††No, it’s not really that hot. Read a f%$#ing thermodynamics book. Better yet, don’t. Thermodynamics text books suck.