Monday, June 10, 2013

Eggless Spaghetti Pie

One of my favorite casserole recipes is Spaghetti Pie .  Now, I have always enjoyed eating casseroles, but as a cook, I couldn't understand the appeal of preparing a casserole as it seemed to create twice as many dishes. Dishes for making the pasta, cooking the meat if needed, preparing the sauce... maybe it's just me, but it seemed like a lot of extra work.

Fast forward 10 years, 2 kids and a busier schedule and I now understand the value of a good casserole. They are easy to prepare in the afternoon while the kids are at school. Many are easy to freeze, a valuable commodity that can be made ahead and then used on a hectic day. Most of them can be prepared in stages, reusing pans and reducing the number of dirty dishes created. I now understand why so many of my childhood dinners were casseroles.

As a kid, one of the first casseroles that I tried making was Spaghetti Pie.  It was a recipe from my mom's Betty Crocker cookbook and was one of my first kitchen hits.  Now that I am a mom, I like it because it isn't as messy as regular spaghetti.

This week, I wanted to prepare this for dinner but was out of eggs. A rarity in my home, but alas not an egg was to be found. I combed through my fridge looking for inspiration and came out with the following egg free and vegetarian version of the classic Betty Crocker Spaghetti Pie.

Eggless Spaghetti Pie

8 ounces frozen chopped spinach, thawed and drained
1 cup cottage cheese
1 cup sour cream
1/2 cup feta, crumbled
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese, grated
1/2 cup mozzarella cheese, grated
1/2 teaspoon salt
dash pepper, to taste
1 clove garlic, pressed
16 ounces spaghetti, cooked and drained
1 jar spaghetti sauce
1/2 cup mozzarella cheese, grated

Preheat oven to 350F.

Cook spaghetti according to package direction in pot large enough to accommodate the pasta and remaining ingredients.
Drain pasta using a colander. Rinse pasta with cool water to prevent sticking and allow to drain.

Combine first 9 ingredients in the pot used to cook spaghetti. Stir in cooked spaghetti.

Pour spaghetti mixture into 2 pie plates or 1 large casserole dish. Pour 1/2 jar of spaghetti sauce over each pie and bake for ~30 minutes.

Sprinkle remaining mozzarella cheese over top of pie and continue to bake for 15 minutes.

This recipe does freeze well. I usually freeze one of the pies prior to the addition of the spaghetti sauce and cheese, and continue preparing the other for our evening meal.

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