Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Spaghetti Pie

This is a great family dinner night meal.  And it makes a lot!  The original recipe I had said it was 6 servings, but I think 8-10 might be more like it, especially if you're feeding children.  Regardless, it's a quintessential Americanized Italian dinner that is a meal in itself.  Serve it with a Caesar or green salad and you are ready to go.

If there are just a few of you, I would definitely half the recipe and use a 1 1/2 or 2 qt baker in lieu of the pie pan.

SPAGHETTI PIE (6-8 servings)

12 oz thin spaghetti or vermicelli noodles
1 pound lean ground beef or ground turkey
1 small onion, diced
1 tsp minced fresh garlic
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp black pepper
28 oz can crushed tomatoes
16 oz can tomato sauce
1 tsp dried basil
1/2 tsp dried oregano
4 oz light cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup lowfat cottage cheese
3/4 cup Parmesan cheese, divided
3/4 cup mozzarella cheese, divided

Lightly coat a deep 9" or 10" pie plate with cooking spray and set aside.  Preheat the oven to 400F.

In a large pot of boiling, salted water, cook the noodles until al dente according to package directions.  While the noodles boil, heat a large 12" skillet over medium-high heat and add the ground meat, breaking it into pieces with a wooden spoon.

Add the onion, garlic, S&P.  Cook, stirring occasionally and continuing to break up the meat until the meat is cooked through, 5-7 minutes.  Remove the skillet from the heat and drain the excess grease, if any.  Return the skillet to medium heat and stir in the crushed tomatoes, tomato sauce, dried basil and oregano.  Simmer the sauce over medium or medium-low heat for 10 minutes.

When the noodles are done cooking, drain and return to the pot.  Immediately stir in the cream cheese and toss the noodles by lightly lifting them up and over with tongs until the cream cheese is mostly melted.  Stir in the cottage cheese, 1/2 cup of the Parmesan cheese and 1/2 cup of the mozzarella cheese.  Toss until the noodles are evenly coated.  Stir in 2 cups of the red sauce.  Keep the remainder of the red sauce warm on the stove.

Scrape the noodles into the prepared pie plate and using a flat spatula, press the noodles evenly into the dish so they are tightly pressed together and evenly flat across the top.  Sprinkle the remaining 1/4 cup Parmesan and 1/4 cup mozzarella cheese across the top.

Bake the spaghetti pie for 20-22 minutes, until it is hot and bubbly and the cheese is golden on top.  Let the dish rest for 10 minutes.  Cut into slices and serve with remaining red sauce.

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