The perfect meatball casserole


+Spaghetti and meatballs in the oven
°1 8-ounce spaghetti (cooked—al dente, drained)
°1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
°1 teaspoon of Italian seasoning
°24 ounces spaghetti sauce (or marinara sauce - about 4 cups)
°1/4 cup mozzarella cheese (freshly grated, two equal servings of 1/2 cup each)
°beef balls
 18 fully cooked meatballs (if store-bought)
°1 pound ground beef
°1 large egg (whipped)
°1/4 cup Parmesan cheese (freshly grated or a Parmesan/Romano mix)
°1 cup rusk (preferably Italian - bread crumbs or panko)
°Half a teaspoon of garlic powder
°Half a teaspoon of onion powder
°¼ teaspoon salt and pepper (or to taste)
°1 tablespoon olive oil (extra virgin)


+Spaghetti and meatballs in the oven
Preheat the oven to 350°F (175°C) and grease or coat the casserole dish with nonstick cooking spray. *You can use the same baking dish as the meatballs, if you are making homemade meatballs (see below).
Cook pasta in a large pot or casserole according to package directions, less than 2 minutes to al dente texture. Drain, but do not rinse, the pasta, then return it to the skillet.
Toss the cooked pasta with 1 tablespoon of the olive oil and 1 teaspoon of the Italian seasoning. Add the marinara (or spaghetti) sauce, fully cooked meatballs, and half of the shredded mozzarella. Mix until combined.
Transfer the mixed casserole ingredients to a greased casserole dish or baking dish. distribute evenly. * To make your casserole look like the picture, I reserved several meatballs and used fresh mozzarella balls, cut in half and placed between the meatballs (instead of the remaining shredded mozzarella that is added after 30 minutes of cooking). Bake for 35 minutes.
Bake at 350°F (175°C) for 30 minutes, then remove from the oven and add the remaining 1/2 cup shredded mozzarella cheese on top of the pasta. Continue baking for an additional 10 minutes or until the cheese has bubbled and the cheese is completely melted. Take out from the oven and serve immediately. Garnish with grated Parmesan and basil, chopped parsley, or Italian seasoning, if desired.

+beef balls
In a large bowl, combine beef, eggs, Parmesan cheese, bread crumbs, garlic powder, onion powder, salt, and pepper. Use your hands or a tablespoon to mix well. Roll the meatballs into 1- to 1-inch balls, or about 18 meatballs.
Grease a tagine or baking dish with 1 tablespoon of olive oil and place the meatballs in the baking dish. Bake at 350°F (175°C) for 20 minutes, or until the inside is no longer pink and reaches an internal temperature of 165°F (74°C) as read by a digital meat thermometer. Remove from the oven and add to the pasta pot.

Enjoy !