Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Mormon Foodie Pasta Pie

As a Foodie, and chef wannabe, I love trying out new recipes. I can never leave them alone, though, and this was no exception. I altered it enough that I dare claim it as one of my own.

I've tried a couple of different spaghetti pie recipes, before. All of them have been tasty. I've been told they're a great way to use leftover pasta. That rarely happens at my house, so I've always made them from scratch.

Most spaghetti pie recipes use a regular 9" pie pan. This one has too much stuff in it, so don't bother trying one. I used a springform pan and it worked nicely. You could use a casserole, but it might not be as "pretty" when you serve it.

While I've listed this recipe using spaghetti noodles, that's not how I actually made it. I had a half empty (half full?) bag of macaroni noodles I wanted to use up, so they got used, instead. It worked great.

Mormon Foodie Pasta Pie

1 pound spaghetti, cooked
1 medium onion -- diced
1 medium green pepper -- diced
2 stalks celery -- diced
1 pound Italian sausage -- ground
2 cups ricotta cheese
3/4 cup mozzarella cheese -- grated
4 large eggs
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon dried basil
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1 cup favorite spaghetti sauce
1 tablespoon butter

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.

Lightly grease a springform pan with the butter.

Fill a large pot and cook the spaghetti al dente, drain and let cool.

Saute the onion, green pepper, celery, tomato, and sausage until nicely browned. Add salt and pepper, to taste, while cooking. Add the spaghetti sauce and heat through.

Mix the ricotta, 1/2 cup of the mozzarella, oregano, basil, and two eggs. Beat lightly until smooth.

Beat the remaining two eggs, and mix with the cooled spaghetti.

Assemble the pie by spreading half the pasta and egg mixture evenly in the bottom of the pan. Add a layer of half the vegetable/meat mixture, and then a layer of the cheese and egg mixture. Repeat with remaining pasta, vegetable/meat mixture and cheese mixture. Spread the remaining 1/4 cup of cheese over the top.

Cover with aluminum foil and bake in a 375 degree oven for 45 minutes. Remove the foil and bake for another 5 minutes. Remove for the oven and let stand for 10 minutes.

Run a knife around the edge of the pan to release the pie. Remove the ring and cut the pie in wedges to serve. Top with additional cheese, sour cream, or a light cheese sauce, if desired.

Serves 8.