Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Spaghetti Pie


I have always heard of spaghetti pie, but it wasn't until last night when I just didn't have any ideas what to make for dinner except to use up some ground beef I had thawed out that morning.

I looked through my pile of recipes, and decided on this. Not because I had high hoped. Only because the directions were straightforward and I had all the ingredients on hand. Laziness at its finest. 

Darin and I got all the ingredients together and tag-teamed this. Even without his help, this meal would have come along easy (easy enough for a weeknight), and I was so surprised how much I had enjoyed this dish! It was hearty, had good robust flavors, and was so comforting. And- even better- we normally have these items on hand, so no fancy ingredients to boot. Since it is only the 2 of us, we were able to eat this for 2 nights of leftovers... so this definitely feeds a lot.



Note: The original recipe states that you need a deep dish pie plate (or else all your spaghetti will not fit). Since I didn't have one, I used my medium (2.2-qt) Pyrex baking dish which worked wonderfully.

Ingredients:
  • 12 ounces thin spaghetti or vermicelli noodles
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 small white or yellow onion, diced
  • 1 pound lean ground beef or ground turkey (we used ground chuck)
  • 1 clove garlic, finely minced (or 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder)
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 28-ounce can crushed tomatoes
  • 16-ounces tomato sauce
  • 1 tsp dried basil
  • 1/2 tsp dried oregano
  • 1/2 tsp crushed red pepper
  • 4 ounces light cream cheese, softened and cubed
  • 1/2 cup lowfat cottage cheese
  • 3/4 cup Parmesan cheese, divided
  • 3/4 cup mozzarella cheese, divided

Directions:
  1. Lightly coat a deep 9 or 10-inch pie plate with cooking spray and set aside. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
  2. In a large pot of boiling, salted water, cook the noodles until al dente according to package directions. 
  3. While the noodles boil, heat a large 12-inch skillet (we used a Dutch oven) over medium-high heat, add the olive oil and diced onions, and saute the onions until they are semi-soft.
  4.  Once they're semi-soft, add the ground beef or turkey, breaking it into pieces with a wooden spoon. Add the garlic, salt and pepper. 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. 
  5. Return the skillet to medium heat and stir in the crushed tomatoes, tomato sauce, dried basil, oregano, and crushed red pepper. Simmer the sauce over medium or medium-low heat for 10 minutes.
  6. 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. 
  7. Stir in 2 cups of the red sauce. Keep the remainder of the red sauce warm on the stove.
  8. 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.
  9. 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.

Source: Adapted from Mel's Kitchen Cafe

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