Notes: I chose angel hair (or capellini) pasta for it's delicate texture and quick cooking time. If using regular spaghetti, increase cooking time. This can be doubled and baked in a 13- by 9-inch casserole dish. Freeze the pasta until cold and firm, not frozen. If beginning to freeze solid, move pasta to refrigerator.
- 5 ounces angel hair pasta, broken in half (see note)
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 small onion, chopped (about 3/4 cup)
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 8 ounces ground chicken
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1/2 teaspoon chili flakes
- 1 (14-ounce) can diced tomatoes, strained
- 1 (8-ounce) can tomato purée
- 6 ounces cheddar cheese (or Colby or Monterey Jack), shredded, divided
- 1 ounce Parmesan cheese, grated
Adjust oven rack to middle position and preheat to 400°F. Bring 2 quarts water to boil in medium pot over high heat. Season generously with salt and pasta. Quickly cook until pasta is al dente (about 2 minutes). Immediately drain and run cold water over pasta to cool. Spread onto a plate and place in the freezer while you prepare the sauce (see note).
Heat oil in large saucepan over medium heat until shimmering. Add onion and season with salt. Cook, stirring, until just softened, about 5 minutes. Add chicken and garlic, and cook, breaking up with spoon, until chicken is no longer pink, about 2 minutes. Add chili flakes, 1/4 teaspoon black pepper, strained tomatoes, and purée, and bring to a simmer. Cook, stirring occasionally, until lightly thickened and flavors have melded, about 5 minutes. Let cool slightly.
Place sauce, spaghetti, 5 ounces cheddar, and Parmesan in large bowl. Toss to combine. Spread into 2 quart casserole dish, top with remaining ounce of cheddar, and bake until top is crispy, about 20 minutes. Serve.
2 quart casserole dish