Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Pie in Your Eye

Discovering a new comfort food is like finding gold. While revisiting some friends living in midtown, I was delighted to be served a beautiful spaghetti pie for a home cooked dinner amidst a sea of flashy restaurants painting Hells Kitchen with neon. My friend, Abe, is a fellow Sconie, so I shouldn't have been surprised that he knows the ways of the casserole world. (I am impressed that he knows them better than I do.)

Abe shared his grandmother's secret recipe with me. Actually, he claims his family doesn't have any secret recipes, but it is so good, it should be.
Spaghetti Pie

1 1/2 lbs ground beef (or morningstar vegetarian crumbles)
1 medium onion, chopped
1 stalk celery, chopped (optional)
1 16 oz. can chopped tomatoes
1 6 oz. can tomato paste
Salt, pepper and sugar to taste
6 oz. spaghetti
1/4 cup butter, melted
1/3 cup grated parmesan cheese
2 eggs, beaten
1 cup cottage cheese
6 oz. shredded mozarella

Brown the meat; drain.
Add onion & celery to meat -- cook until tender.
Stir in tomatoes & tomato paste.
Season with salt, pepper, & sugar; mix well.
Simmer for 20 minutes.
Cook spaghetti according to package directions; drain.
Combine spaghetti with butter, parmesan cheese and eggs; Mix well.
Line a greased 10 in. pie plate with spaghetti mixture to form crust.
Spoon cottage cheese over spaghetti crust.
Top spaghetti and cottage cheese with meat sauce and sprinkle with mozzarella cheese.
Bake pie at 325ยบ for 45 minutes (put a cookie sheet underneath since it may overflow).
Serves 6-8

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