If you're like me, you are constantly in need of easy recipes that can be prepared ahead of time to take to potlucks, or people who just had babies, or just so that your family eats something decent after a busy day when there's no time to cook in the evening. So I constantly collect recipes that are pretty basic and widely well-liked so I don't end up cooking endless pans of lasagna.
Spaghetti pie is one that I find myself making frequently for all those reasons. It's a lot like lasagna, but with a different twist. Instead of using the wide, flat noodles, you form a crust using spaghetti noodles, then pile in the savory filling. You can adjust the filling to meet your individual preferences. For example, if you want a vegetarian dish, just substitute some veggies for the ground beef. Here's a good basic recipe to start with:
- 6 ounces spaghetti
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 2 eggs, beaten
- 1 pound lean ground beef (you can substitute ground turkey)
- 1/2 cup chopped onion
- 2-3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 (14.5-ounce) can diced tomatoes
- 1 (6-ounce) can tomato paste
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1 cup cottage cheese
- 1/2 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
Cook and drain spaghetti. Stir in butter, Parmesan cheese, and eggs, while spaghetti is hot. Form "crust" in a 10-inch pie plate.
In a skillet cook the beef, onion, and garlic. Drain off the fat and stir in the undrained tomatoes, tomato paste, sugar, and oregano. Heat through.
Spread cottage cheese over the spaghetti crust, then pour in the beef and tomato mixture. Bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes. Sprinkle mozzarella cheese over the top of the pie, then bake for 5 minutes longer, until cheese melts.