This spaghetti casserole, the Dominican pastelón de espagueti, is a whole meal in itself and a very interesting one. Inexpensive and uncomplicated, this delicious dish is one of my favorite pastelones. Adapt it to your taste, and serve it for potlucks, cookouts, and beach days.
Why we ❤️ it
Though not the most common Dominican casserole, this baked spaghetti casserole is an old family tradition of mine.
This tasty dish can be served as a side dish to your favorite grilled fish or meat, and it is also perfect as a potluck dish.
What's pastelón de espagueti?
Pastelones, or Dominican casseroles, are some of our favorite dishes. Pastelón de plátano maduro is certainly our favorite, but there are many more.
Pastelón de espagueti is a molded spaghetti dish made in the Dominican Republich. Spaghetti is boiled in salted water and mixed with herbs, seasonings, and tomato spaghetti sauce. It is then baked in a baking mold, topped with cheese, and served as a savory casserole.
Pastelón de espagueti (spaghetti casserole).
This tasty dish can be served as a side dish to your favorite grilled fish or meat, and it is also perfect as a potluck dish or for Dominican parrilladas.
You can also serve it with some green salad.
- You can use short pasta too for this one. Macaroni is especially good as it retains the sauce better and makes for a moister casserole.
- If you have some leftover ground beef, you can mix it in. If you have leftover chicken instead, shred it and add it to the spaghetti.
About this recipe
Years ago, we went on a memorable trip around Italy. Food was, of course, the highlight of a trip of a lifetime. We learned to love and appreciate Italian food even more. And we learned that many dishes loosely inspired by their cuisine would probably give any decent Italian a stroke.
We'll beg for their forgiveness while thoroughly enjoying this pastelón, and then go for seconds.
This is based on my aunt Flor'as recipe; the only change I have made to the family recipe is the addition of basil, one of my favorite herbs, which complements this dish very well.
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Pastelón de Espaguetis [Recipe] Spaghetti Casserole
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- ½ pound spaghetti or short pasta of your choice, [0.23 kg]
- 1½ tablespoon salt, (or more, to taste), divided
- 12 large tomato, peeled and diced
- 1 oregano, (dry, ground)
- 3 tablespoons basil , finely chopped
- 1 small red onion, grated
- 2 garlic cloves, crushed
- 1 minced bell pepper
- 2 cups tomato sauce
- ½ cup capers
- ½ cup pitted green olives, cut into slices
- ½ cup parmesan cheese, (grated)
- ¼ teaspoon pepper , (freshly-cracked, or ground) (or more, to taste)
- A few basil leaves for decoration
- ½ cup mozzarella cheese, (grated)
- In a large pot, boil the pasta al dente, adding a tablespoon of salt to the water.Drain the pasta water, save some to add to the sauce later.
Make tomato pasta sauce
- In a heavy saucepan heat the remaining oil over low heat. Cook and stir the tomatoes, oregano, chopped basil, garlic, onion, and bell peppers over low heat until the tomatoes are tender.Add ½ cup water and tomato sauce. Simmer over low heat for 5 minutes. Set aside half of the tomato sauce for serving. Mix in capers and olives with the tomato sauce.
Mixing pasta and sauce
- Season the sauce with salt and pepper to taste and pour it into a large mixing bowl.Add the spaghetti to the tomato sauce and mix well. Add parmesan cheese and mix.
Pour into mold
- Pour in the pasta into a 6" [15 cm] non-stick pan or lasagna baking dish. Lightly press with a fork to compact. Top with the mozzarella.Cover with aluminum foil for 20 minutes.
- Heat oven to 300 °F [150 °C].Bake for 25 minutes. Remove from the oven and let it cool for 5 minutes before serving
Tips and Notes
Nutritional information is calculated automatically based on ingredients listed. Please consult your doctor if you need precise nutrition information.
More pasta recipes
If you're looking some pasta recipes with great Dominican flavors, don't miss our espaguetis dominicanos, ensalada de codito, or our arroz con fideos. To try something non-traditional, this pasta pie is another great pasta casserole.