1lbspaghetticooked 1 minute off of suggested cooking time
3hotdogssliced into thin coins
3garlic clovesfinely chopped
5cupsFilipino Spaghetti sauce or bottled marinara sauce*divided (see notes)
3 ½cupsshredded mozzarella cheese**see notes
Salt and ground black pepperto season
1-2tablespoonssoftened butterto grease the pan
Preheat the oven to 350F.
Heat 1 tablespoon of oil in a large pan. Saute the onion until softened then add the garlic. Mix and add in the beef. Cook until no longer pink and add the hotdogs. Saute for 2 minutes. Turn the heat off, drain the liquid (and fat) completely then add 1 cup of spaghetti or marinara sauce. * (see notes)
Add the remaining 4 cups of sauce to the cooked spaghetti. Set aside.
Combine the cream cheese and 2 cups of mozzarella cheese in a bowl and set aside.
Grease the bottom and sides of a 9x12 rectangular baking pan (I used Pyrex) with butter.
Add half of the prepared pasta (pasta with sauce mixture) evenly to the bottom of the pan.
Next, spread the cheese mixture and cover as much of the pasta as possible.
Then, add the remaining pasta mixture. Spread the beef-hotdog mixture next.
Sprinkle the remaining 1 ½ cups of mozzarella cheese on top. Cover with foil and bake for 30 minutes. Uncover and continue baking for another 10 minutes (until the cheese is bubbling).
Cool on a wire rack for 10-15 minutes. Divide into squares (9 or 12 pieces depending on your preference). The cooling will set the layers and cut easily into perfect slices.
*If using marinara, add sugar depending on its acidity (start with 1 teaspoon and add according to your taste).**Reduce the cheese topping by ½ cup if you want to cut back on the cheese. Do not take away any from the cream-mozzarella filling. For an even creamier cheese layer, add up to 1 cup of ricotta OR sour cream to the cream-mozza combo before layering it into the casserole.