Creating recipes isn't a pastime—it's a passion. And a lot of fun.

The rules are few: Use 99% fresh ingredients (or thereabouts); make the dish simple but flavorful; make the dish flavorful but simple; be creative, not silly.

With this blog, I want to share new recipes, along with tips on ingredients and preparation, and, hopefully, show new cooks (and non-cooks) the pleasure in setting the table with a delicious homemade meal. The Briny Lemon is about fresh, simple, flavorful ingredients and easy cooking methods that help you bring the best to your family table. Your comments are welcome!

Sunday, October 16, 2016

Skillet-Baked Spaghetti with Sausage and Mushrooms

I really like baked spaghetti, and I’ve found that baking it in a cast-iron skillet brings out the best in the dish—well browned, a little crispy on the edges, set in the middle just right. Yes, you can get good results from a nonstick, oven-proof pan, but I’m biased toward cast iron. It's so good for so many things.

When baking pasta, I normally use some kind of cheese as a binder to hold it and the other ingredients together in the oven, but I saw a recipe in Cooking Light magazine that recommended tossing the hot pasta with beaten eggs before stirring the meat and vegetables into it. I like that. And it worked wonderfully—the thick egg mixture clung to the hot noodles, already thickening before everything else was added. Perfect.

Here’s an easy, no-fuss meal that’s full of warm, down-home, spaghetti-dinner flavor—nobody can’t love it.

Serves 4

  • 2 large eggs
  • 6 oz thin spaghetti
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 3/4 lb hot Italian sausage links, casings removed
  • 1/2 cup chopped onion
  • 4 oz crimini mushrooms, thinly sliced
  • 2 cups chopped tomatoes
  • 1/2 tsp dried oregano
  • sea salt
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • 3/4 cup finely shredded Italian cheese blend, divided
Prepared Ingredients
  1. Preheat the oven to 400°F.
  2. Crack the eggs into a large bowl and lightly beat.
  3. Cook the spaghetti in boiling, salted water until almost al dente, 5 minutes. Drain and place in the bowl with the eggs, tossing to coat.
Egg and Pasta Mixture
  1. Heat a 10-inch cast-iron skillet over medium heat and add the olive oil. Add the sausage and onion and cook until browned, stirring to crumble, 6 minutes. 
  2. Add the mushrooms, tomatoes, and oregano and season with salt and pepper. Cook until some of the liquid has evaporated, stirring occasionally, 11-12 minutes. 
  3. Add the sausage mixture to the pasta and stir in 1/2 cup cheese. Stir well to combine. Transfer the mixture back to the skillet and press lightly to even the top. Sprinkle with the remaining 1/4 cup of cheese.
Sausage and Onion Beginning to Cook 
Tomato Mixture Added 
Cooked Sausage-Tomato Mixture
Pasta Mixture 
Smooth to Even Thickness
Ready to Bake
  1. Place the skillet in the oven and bake minutes 20 minutes. Remove and let rest 5 minutes.
Baked Spaghetti
 Cut into 4 wedges and serve. 

Skillet-Baked Spaghetti with Sausage and Mushrooms

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