Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Super Easy Spaghetti Pie = Dinner Victory!

 I love pie. Really any kind of pie. Cherry, apple, rhubarb, chicken pot, shepherds. You put it in a pie dish, and I bet I will like it. Given this predilection for pies, it is no surprise that spaghetti pie has been one of my go-to meals for years.

I would like to say that my children, really my eldest, shared my enthusiasm for all things pie. But unless it's a cherry pie, Kara's not interested. Yesterday while the baby was napping, I  whipped up a spaghetti pie using the leftovers from the weekend. I tutor on Tuesday nights, so I miss the dinner and bedtime routine. And since Dave is usually running in as I am running out, I try to make something that he can just heat up for everyone. I rarely succeed in these attempts, however.  So I was feeling extra proud of myself for getting a meal ready ahead of time. And I flattered myself that this would be a dinner everyone would like and eat without complaint. It's really just spaghetti is a pie plate, for goodness sakes. What's not to like, right?

As I was about to leave, Kara shouted from the living room, "What's for dinner?"

To which I replied, "Something delicious!" She greeted this answer with a look that communicated her full knowledge that I was trying to put one over on her.

Apparently, it went downhill from there. After I left, Dave had the privilege of listening to Kara complain in advance about her dinner. And when it was actually dinner time, Dave had to "practically drag her to the table by her pigtails" (His words, not mine. I would never get that frustrated by our child...)

But it was all worthwhile because once our little one tasted the pie in question, she couldn't even pretend to hate it. In fact, she loved it. Ate two helpings. Dave, basking in this dinner victory, got to actually enjoy his dinner, too: a delicious plate of spaghetti pie without a side order of whining and drama. I imagine him thinking, "I love the smell of spaghetti pie in the evening...smells like victory."

. There are a lot of spaghetti pie recipes out there. This one is a variation on the dish my stepmother made. I have simplified it quite a bit. Spaghetti pie is a good way to use up all kinds of leftover vegetables, cheese, meat and of course pasta. This recipe is easily made meat-free and/or gluten free too. Get creative - you wont be disappointed.

-Combine about 1/2 lb of cooked spaghetti with 2 eggs beaten and 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese. If the pasta is cold, just run a little hot water on it to warm it up. This will make it easier to coat with the egg and cheese. On the other hand, if the pasta is fresh out of the pot, let it cool off before you pour egg into it, otherwise you will get scrambled egg in you noodles.
-Pour coated pasta in to a pie dish or a 9 inch baking dish. Set aside.
-Chop up one medium onion, one bell pepper and about 1 cup mushrooms. I used baby bellas, but white work too.
-Saute one link of Italian sausage in a large pan. After about 5 minutes, move sausage to the side, add a little olive oil and cook the veggies.
-Saute until veggies are soft. Remove sausage and set aside.
-Take pan off of heat and add about a 1/2 cup sour cream and stir into veggies.You could also use ricotta or some marscapone here. I bet chevre would be yummy too.
-To assemble the pie - Pour the creamy vegetable mix onto the spaghetti "crust." Next cut up the sausage and place a layer of  pieces on the vegetables. Cover it all with a layer of spaghetti sauce and then a layer of shredded mozzarella.
-Bake at 350 for about 30 minutes.
*This dish is also great for freezing ahead of time. It will keep for months - then just defrost a bit and bake.

1 comment:

  1. You just went all Lt. Cmdr Kilgore on this blog. NICE.