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Simple Baked Spaghetti Nests – Barilla Angel Hair Pasta paired with Clos du Bois Cabernet Sauvignon red wine makes an easy and elegant dinner for entertaining.
As a food blogger, 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. Barilla Angel Hair pasta works great for this recipe because angel hair is the thinnest pasta, cooks quickly and tastes great. Plus, Barilla is the #1 choice of Italy so you basically can't go wrong.
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. Clos du Bois wines pair nicely with pasta dishes, and are an elegant and well-priced option for entertaining. I'm more of a red wine drinker, so my choice for pairing is Clos du Bois Cabernet Sauvignon. It is medium-bodied with flavors of blackberry, plum, black cherry and licorice. If white wine is more your jam, the Clos Du Bois Chardonnay is also a great option with flavors of apple, pear, sweet lemon drop, toasty oak, and vanilla bean.
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. This picture is before baking, with egg:
This picture is another batch before baking, without 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.
Recommended and useful items for this baked spaghetti nests recipe:
Baked Spaghetti Nests
- 1 lb. Barilla Angel Hair Pasta (makes approximately 9 cups cooked pasta)
- 1 24 oz. jar marinara sauce (3 cups)
- 2 large eggs
- 8 oz. container mozzarella balls
- salt and pepper to taste
- Basil dried or fresh
- Shredded parmesan cheese
- Clos du Bois Cabernet Sauvignon
- 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.
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