This is a recipe that I made awhile back in either the winter or early spring (hence the not-so-awesome night-time lighting) but never got around to posting before the weather got too hot to justify using the oven. Now that we had our first official freezing temperature of the season, I feel like I can dust it off of my "drafts" and share it with you all.
As you know, I aspire to make a pie on my 23 Things in 2011 list. But, I'd consider it cheating if I counted this dish because the whole purpose of my making a pie was really to challenge myself to make a homemade crust. And besides, I have a different recipe set aside for that ;).
What I love about this dish is how it tastes a lot like a lasagna to me (because it uses all the same delicious components) but is served in a fun, unassuming way and takes way less time to assemble since there aren't so many layers. Heck, it kind of even looks like a deep dish pizza, really. You can change it to suit your tastes (for example, I added basil, cracked red pepper, and some leftover Italian sausage for a boost of flavor and to meet Chris' meet requirements) and while I don't have kids, I have a feeling that this could please the entire family.
Two Years Ago: Cheesecake cupcakes - These remind me of when I was growing up because mom used to always make them. Nilla wafers form the base of a bite-size cheesecake treat!
- 8 ounces spaghetti
- 2 large eggs
- ½ cup parmesan cheese
- 1 tbsps plus 1 tsp olive oil
- 1 14.5 oz can diced tomatoes
- 1/2 pound ground beef or turkey or Italian sausage (optional)
- 1 small onion, diced
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 1 tsp oregano
- 1 tsp basil
- 1/2 tsp cracked red pepper
- 1 tsp tomato paste
- 1 10 oz package frozen spinach, thawed and liquid removed
- 1 15 oz container part skim ricotta
- ½ cup shredded mozzarella
- Black pepper, to taste
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Put water on to boil. LIghtly grease a 10" pie plate with olive oil or cooking spray then set aside.
- In a saute pan, heat 1 Tbsp olive oil. Add onions, garlic, and meat if using. Cook until the meat is browned (breaking meat up into small crumbles as you cook) or if not using meat then until onions are translucent. Add diced tomatoes with their juice, oregano, basil, cracked red pepper, and tomato paste.
- Place ricotta in a bowl and combine with spinach. Add black pepper to taste then stir to combine.
- Meanwhile, cook spaghetti until just al dente, drain and toss in a large bowl with 1 tsp olive oil. Whisk eggs with a fork in a small bowl with 1/3 cup shredded parmesan. Toss with spaghetti. Add spaghetti to prepared pie plate. Shape into crust shape by using fingers to flatten the center and pressing up the sides of the plate. Add the spinach-ricotta mixture to the indentation in the center. Top with tomato meat sauce and bake, uncovered for 25 minutes.
- Top with shredded mozzerella and remaining shredded parmesan cheese. Bake an additional 5 minutes, until cheese is melted. Remove from oven. Let cool for 10 minutes. Then, slice into wedges and serve.
Source: Modified from REC(cession)IPIES