Here’s a dish I first heard about on a FOOD Network show, then traced back to classic Italian cuisine… Spaghetti Pie! It’s a cross between the Spaghetti and Sauce you’re used to and a Baked Ziti, but with some interesting added details and flavours. And it’s easy!
This is pure Italian Comfort Food!
Cook up enough Spaghetti to feed the number of diners you want to serve. Make it just barely al dente, because it will be getting cooked some more, later. Then drain it and set it aside to cool a bit. DO NOT RINSE IT, OR PUT ON OIL OR BUTTER!!!
Now… For each four diners you wish to serve… In a saucepan, place 1 Cup of pre-made Spaghetti Sauce (whatever flavour you like; your own or bought in a jar), 1/2 up of grated Mozzarella Cheese, and 1/4 Cup grated Parmesan or Romano Cheese. Mix all these ingredients together well and then add the Spaghetti and gently mix with your hands, preferably) until all the noodles are coated with Sauce mixture.
Now… IF you are making just enough to serve four or six, you can press the Noodle and Sauce mixture into a well-greased standard nine- or ten-in. pie plate. If you’re making more, use an appropriate-sized casserole dish and press into a uniform layer. Top the baking dish (whichever you use) with a mixture of equal parts grated Parmesan or Romano Cheese and Bread Crumbs. These will brown during baking and create a crispy crust.
Note: You will now understand why we didn’t rise the pasta or add butter or oil after par-cooking it: The surface starch on the pasta helps bind the whole mixture into a mass that can be neatly cut into portions for service.
Bake the casserole for an hour – or until the ‘pie’ is heated through and the top is browned. Let it sit for ten or fifteen minutes before serving, so the ‘pie’ can set up.
Cut wedges if you used a round pie plate; squares if you used a rectangular casserole.
This is a super alternative ‘starch’ for any Mediterranean or fusion plate… Or make it a main course by adding mini meatballs, sausage slices, or other ‘Pizza’ ingredients!
~ Maggie J.