Your new favorite way to inhale the spaghetti! Don’t x out.
You’re probably like, “Spaghetti? Okay, we eat this once a week and I’ve got it down. How is this different? And you look radiant by the way.”
Just kidding about that last part.
Let me TELL you what makes this version better. Because it ain’t just any ol’ spaghetti blah blah. This is LEGIT.
First of all, it’s thin spaghetti! And you know what, I actually prefer thin over regular spaghetti. It’s not quiiiiiite angel hair, but still thin enough to twirl around just right on your tongue without feeling like the pasta mafia just took you down.
Secondly, and this is important: farmer’s market tomatoes. Go get you some, dude! They’re just now everywhere, and they make such an unbelievable difference in the sauce. Bright and acidic. Man, do it. You’ll make your own sauce for this, but it’s beyond simple. So don’t go chopping off heads yet.
Lastly, the topping! We’ll finish it off with sumpin’ spesh. (<–my friend Lacy just rolled her eyes at “spesh.” SPESH SPESH SPESH. Ha! Never mind.)
Let’s brown some Italian sausage. I chose sausage instead of a traditional ground beef because I’m OVER IT. (<–said like Meegan of Key and Peele.)
Now for our perfect sauce: take those tomatoes and blitz them up real smooth-like in a food processor with fresh garlic and basil. BOOM. There’s your sauce, hon. So simple. I did mine in batches in a small processor, but if you have a big one, do it all at once! Fly, little bird.
Let it simmer for just a few minutes with the sausage. It is MAGICAL. Worlds better than a jarred sauce. You really won’t need much salt beyond a pinch, because the sausage has so much flavor.
Taste how bright that is right now. Just taste it. Like, stick your head over it and inhale. SEE?
While it’s simmering, you’re boiling the spaghetti in salted water, and toasting up your panko. Just butter, panko and dried Italian seasoning. Pinch of salt. Toast it. Toast it good.
Oh also! You’ve added a bit of baby spinach to the sauce, let it wilt all in, then transferred the pasta to the sauce and toss toss toss. Get it all coated and luscious. Nestle in the mozzarella balls over the top and sprinkle that seasoned crunchy bliss all up on over it.
But make SURE you enlist a tiny hand with no bulging veins to be your hand model. This is extremely vital to the success of this recipe.
Under the broiler it goes for SERIOUSLY about a minute (don’t go away!), and . . .
Hello, gorgeous. (<–said like Barbra Streisand with her Oscar statue in 1968.)
I MEAN, it’s crunchy. And the mozzarella balls start to gloss up and slightly melt into the pasta and it’s straight up divine. Like little treats every few bites.
And let’s not forget the sausage crumbles swimming around in that fresh basil-y tomato sauce under that blanket of crispy utopia.
It’s just GREAT. This whole thing. No other way to put it. It’s something that would be in your regular weeknight rotation, but with a fresh, crunchy boom diggidy spin on it.
Plus it has spinach in it, so it’s totally diet food.
I’m not crying, you’re crying.