Happy 7th day of posting for 7 days! I win! And now for a recipe post, since I haven't done one in quite awhile.
I'm going to do something that often annoys me about some recipe blogs: I'm going to talk fondly about the dish before I post the recipe.
I'm sure I'd had this casserole at church potlucks before, but the earliest time I remember eating it was during one of the most memorable weekends I experienced as a teenager. My dad used to organize a weekend retreat in Tahoe for interested adults at our church. I don't remember how this all happened, but one of the years many of our family friends were planning to go, leaving lots of kids (mostly teens) parentless for the weekend. We had a large swimming pool at the time, and it was decided that the kids were welcome to come stay at our house. It sounds funny now that I think about it: imagine 10 (give or take) teenagers spending a summer weekend together unsupervised. Parents sent their kids over with food, money and overnight bags, and we had an awesome time swimming, talking, ordering pizza and basically having a big coed slumber party. Don't worry, it was all fairly innocent--I wasn't a party girl, and I was kind of in charge much of the time. I think my older sister was working, or maybe it was after she moved out. (Do you like how I said this was a memorable weekend, but now I can't recall the details?) I remember swimming in the middle of the night, and one kid, Mark, thought it was a good idea to cannonball into the pool at 3am.
Anyway, my friend Dania brought over a 9x13 of this spaghetti casserole that her mom made. It was so good! I remember heating up squares of it for various meals during the weekend. If lasagna and spaghetti had a child together, it would look something like this, except smaller at birth. At some point I got the recipe and half-memorized it before losing it. Dania just re-sent it to me, and I see it's a little different from how I made it in the pictures, but it's pretty much the same idea. Alter as you wish. I'll put my added comments in non-bold.
1 lb hamburger (I used 1.25 lb of ground turkey)
3/4 cup chopped onions
1/2 cup diced green pepper
1 can condensed cream of mushroom soup
1 can condensed cream of tomato soup (Campbell's doesn't make this anymore--interesting!--and I used 2 cups of pasta sauce instead)
1 soup can of water (I didn't do this, but I did add about half a cup of leftover chicken broth I wanted to use up.)
1 mashed clove garlic
1 cup cheddar cheese grated (Oh please--I used at least two cups!)
1/2 lb spaghetti cooked according to package directions (I used the full 1-pound box, and I didn't use the package directions ;))
I also added a small can of sliced olives (drain the juice, obviously)
Brown hamburger, onions and bell pepper. Add soups, can of water and garlic. Stir in 1/2 cup of the cheese and the cooked spaghetti. Place all in a 3-quart casserole dish and top with remaining cheese. Bake at 350 degrees for about 30 minutes.