MB's Spaghetti Pie
by Marybeth Mank
I have made this recipe for over 25 years. The basic recipe spaghetti, jarred sauce, cottage cheese came from a set of those mail-order recipe cards that were so popular back in the 1970s and 1980s; the kind where you received a new set every month plus the handy-dandy card caddy shipped free. I have altered this recipe to make it even tastier and more suitable for special family dinners. My whole family loves it, and we rarely have leftovers. It fills the house with a wonderful aroma. For large family get-togethers, I have doubled or tripled this recipe successfully. My son specifically requests this recipe when he gets hungry for spaghetti. Several years ago, we opted to change our Christmas dinner from the traditional ham dinner to an Italian feast, and this recipe is usually the centerpiece of the meal. This recipe is a home run in our family!
INGREDIENTS12 oz. pkg uncooked spaghetti
2 Tbls veggie oil or extra virgin olive oil
2 eggs, lightly beaten
8 oz. shredded Parmesan cheese
1 15 oz. carton ricotta cheese
2 lbs. extra lean ground beef
1 tsp onion powder NOT salt
1/2 tsp garlic powder NOT salt
1/2 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp dried basil
1 8 oz. can tomato sauce
1 10.5 can pureed tomatoes
1 12 oz. can tomato paste
1 tsp. balsamic vinegar
1 tsp sugar
8 oz. shredded Italian cheese blend
1. Preheat oven to 350ºF.
Spray a 9” x 13” casserole dish with nonstick cooking spray.
Cook spaghetti as directed on package; adding 1 tablespoon oil to cooking water before it reaches the boiling point.
The oil will prevent the spaghetti from sticking together.
Break the spaghetti
strands in half as it is added to the boiling water.
Take care not to overcook the spaghetti.
Be sure to drain spaghetti thoroughly, shaking colander to remove excess water; return spaghetti to cooking pan.
Stir eggs and Parmesan cheese into spaghetti, mixing thoroughly to ensure even distribution of cheese. Place in prepared baking pan, forming a ‘crust’ and leaving center of ‘crust’ somewhat shallow to accommodate filling.
Place in oven and bake for approximately 10 minutes.
Remove from oven and allow crust to cool for five minutes.
Spread ricotta cheese over ‘crust,’ leaving a 1/2-inch border around outer edge.
2. While spaghetti is cooking, heat remaining tablespoon of oil in large skillet over medium high heat.
Add ground beef and cook for 5 to 8 minutes, or until no pink remains.
Break up ground beef with spoon as it cooks. Add next nine ingredients; simmer over reduced heat for five minutes to allow sauce to thicken. If sauce is too thick, add a little bit of water.
Layer sauce over ricotta cheese, maintaining border.
Sprinkle with Italian cheese blend. Bake pie in oven for approximately 15 to 20 minutes, or until cheese is melted, ‘crust’ is lightly browned and spaghetti pie is heated through.
3. Remove pie from oven and let stand for 5 to 10 minutes. Cut into 6 even squares. Serve, passing additional shredded Parmesan cheese, if desired.
Serving suggestion: Serve with garlic bread or bread sticks and a green salad.
Preparation/cooking time: approximately 45 minutes
Number of servings: 6
Note: I occasionally add 1 finely chopped white onion and one 1 finely chopped green pepper to the ground beef as it cooks. Not everyone likes this, but it is nice change.