Thursday, January 10, 2013

Spaghetti Pie

I made this Pioneer Woman dish for dinner last night and it was delicious.  It reminded me a lot of another dish I make, one that is a lot more complicated, but also a lot tastier, so when I have the time, it pays off.  May I share it with you?


It’s called Spaghetti Pie, and I first found the recipe in a retrospective of popular recipes from the 50s and 60s.  I have modified it a ton over the years.  Recently, I’ve seen several recipes for Spaghetti Pie make the rounds of Pinterest, but none of them look to be quite this good… largely because they are all meant to be quick, easy casseroles.  This is neither quick nor easy.  But it is spectacular.  And hearty.  And a crowd-pleaser.  And it travels well.  It even freezes well.


Here we go!


Set a pot of water to boil and get your spaghetti ready.  You don’t want too much spaghetti, maybe 8 ounces.


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Chunk up an onion and a bell pepper and any other vegetables you’d like to fool your family into eating.  Add a clove or four of pressed garlic and sauté it all in some olive oil.  The onion and the garlic add great flavor, but the rest of them will just be added fiber and vitamins, in my opinion.

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Add a pound of ground Italian sausage.  You could use ground beef or ground turkey, but it wouldn’t taste as good.  If you do use ground beef or ground turkey, make sure to add lots of Italian spices.  After my sausage was browned, I added some spinach (because I had it, and, you know, iron).


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Add half of a Costco-sized jar of spaghetti sauce.  Umm, this is like, 2 cups or so?  I don’t think of cooking as an exact science, so the idea is to keep it from being too saucy.  Then, add a drained can of diced tomatoes.


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Doesn’t that look lovely?  Smells good, too.


And now, the noodles.  Hopefully they’re cooked up all nice in your boiling water.  If not, get on it, the meat/sauce mixture will wait.


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Add two beaten eggs to those hot noodles and mix them up real good.  Do you like my dinosaur spaghetti spoon?


Then, add some parmesan cheese to the spaghetti.  I like cheese, so I use a lot – about 4 ounces.  Spread this gooey mess into a 9 x 13-inch pan.


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Next, take a whole carton of full-fat cottage cheese and spread it over the top of the noodles, like so:


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Top this with the meat/sauce mixture:


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Add cheese on top (I like to use parmesan and mozzarella and just simply smother the damned thing) and then stick the whole heavy pan in your oven at 375-degrees until heated through (about half an hour). 


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Make sure to invite your brother over for dinner because he loves this meal.


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Spaghetti Pie:

8 ounces spaghetti noodles

2 eggs, well beaten

4 ounces shredded parmesan (or more, if you love cheese)

1 carton cottage cheese (16 ounces?  I think?)

1 onion

some garlic (if you like garlic, use more!)

other vegetables (things that would be great here: carrots, olives, mushrooms, bell peppers, kidney beans, spinach – you get the picture.  Veggies with lots of water, like zucchini, might not work so well)

Olive oil – a tablespoon or two

1 lb ground Italian sausage

2 cups pre-made spaghetti sauce

1 can diced tomatoes, drained

mozzarella and parmesan cheese


Cook noodles according to package directions.  In a big saucepan (because if I don’t use a big one, I slop shit everywhere), cook the onion, garlic, and other vegetables in olive oil.  Add the Italian sausage and brown.  Add spaghetti sauce and drained tomatoes. 


Add eggs and parmesan to cooked, drained noodles and mix well.  Spread in bottom of 9 x 13-inch pan.  Spread cottage cheese on top.  Spread meat/sauce mixture over that.  Spread mozzarella/parmesan cheese over that. 


Bake at 375-degrees for 30 minutes or until heated through. 


Serve with a big ol’ glass of wine.

1 comment:

Mom and Dad said...

Boy I love the casserole days...this so reminds me of the days when we would go to the church and all the moms brought out their best dishes, most of which were similar in structure to this one but not quite as tasty. They always had to tone down the spice, 'cause it was church ya know....My mom made a couple I still love to eat. the biggest drawback is I only know how to make them in huge quantities and even Joe won't eat these dishes that many days in a row...they are best fresh. except spagetti - he likes his at least one day old. Thanks for the new recipe...