Simple Baked Spaghetti Nests – angel hair pasta casserole that makes an easy yet elegant dinner for date night or entertaining guests.
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As probably most people, I tend to feel a lot of pressure when it comes to dinner parties.
I always have too many ideas running through my head while planning, while also constantly wondering if my dish choices will go together, if everybody will like the food, and how will I get everything done in time.
Also, where’s the wine?!
I do it to myself, as my friends are just happy that there is food at all. I constantly have to remind myself that sometimes, the simpler the better.
My all-time favorite recipe hits are usually pasta. Especially as the weather starts to get colder, there’s something about pasta that screams ultimate comfort food.
These angel hair spaghetti nests have been in the back of my mind for a while now.
I have a memory of my grandma making them and always remembered it as a fun way to mix up a typical spaghetti meal. I like using angel hair pasta as it is is the thinnest, so it cooks quickly.
What’s also great about these spaghetti nests is that they are completely customizable.
Don’t like red sauce? Drizzle with olive oil before baking instead, or top with a difference sauce afterwards.
Guests have different topping preferences? They can add their own as they please. You can even make these with leftover pasta and/or make ahead of time to ease pressure on the day of.
Also, don’t forget the wine to elevate the experience! Side note: These pictures were originally taken with a bottle of Clos du Bois Cabernet Sauvignon in the background, though I now almost exclusively drink the natural wines from Dry Farm Wines.
Many spaghetti nest recipes will have you mix-in more ingredients to the actual pasta before baking. I wanted to keep it as simple as possible, so the base recipe here is angel hair + sauce + egg.
Like I mentioned above, you can also leave out the sauce and use a little olive oil instead
The egg holds the nests together, but it’s not the end of the world if you don’t use it. You will just end up with nests that are a bit “messier.” Of course, I tried it. The picture above is before baking, with egg.
This picture (below) is from another batch before baking, without using an egg. Can you see the difference?
So yes, it still works – but they hold together much nicer and also tend to be crispier with the egg as a binder.
Use a fork to twirl the pasta around into a nest shape. I made each one from about 1/3 cup angel hair. Then pop in a couple mozzarella balls, and bake until lightly browned.
Toppings can include basil, olives, spinach, more cheese, or whatever your heart desires.
You can even arrange the nests into fun shapes if it suits your party theme!
P.S. I have also made a gluten-free version of these pasta nests using spaghetti squash!
Baked Spaghetti Nests
Simple Baked Spaghetti Nests - angel hair pasta casserole that makes an easy yet elegant dinner for entertaining.
- 1 lb. Angel Hair Pasta, (makes approximately 9 cups cooked pasta)
- 1 (24 oz.) jar marinara sauce, (or 3 cups homemade)
- 2 large eggs
- 8 oz. container mozzarella balls
- salt and pepper, to taste
- Basil, dried or fresh
- Shredded parmesan cheese
- Cook pasta according to package instructions. Drain.
- Preheat oven to 375°F. Lightly spray bottom of a casserole dish with olive oil.
- In a large bowl, mix together pasta, sauce and eggs.
- Using a fork, twirl pasta into "nests" 1/3 cup at a time and place in casserole dish.
- Add 2 mozzarella balls in the center of each spaghetti nest. Top with salt and pepper as desired.
- Bake for 16-20 minutes, or until cheese is melted and pasta is lightly browned.
- Add additional toppings as desired, and serve. Will make approximately 24 nests.
If using leftover pasta, use roughly 4 cups pasta for 1 cup sauce and 1 egg.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 73Total Fat: 3gSaturated Fat: 1gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 1gCholesterol: 23mgSodium: 112mgCarbohydrates: 7gFiber: 1gSugar: 1gProtein: 4g
Nutrition information is calculated automatically by an online tool at Nutritionix. It is not always accurate. Please use your own tools to check if you rely on this information.
Tuesday 22nd of March 2022
For those that don’t want the egg but still want a “tidy” presentation, do you think baking in a muffin pan would work?
Saturday 2nd of July 2022
I think the muffin pan is a great idea!
Friday 1st of July 2022
@Sarah, did you get an answer to this as I’m curious as well. Also wonder how far in advance you can make the mini nests to hold a small meatball m.
Saturday 12th of February 2022
Thank you for making this simple for all us busy people. I will be making this a lot.