My Mom used to make Spaghetti Pie and I always loved it. I recently stumbled across this recipe, loaded with mushrooms, peppers, onions, Italian sausage and tomatoes, all on a spaghetti “crust” and decided to give it a try. It was amazing and makes a lot – so it’s good for a larger group. For a couple or small family, I’d halve it.
Nonstick cooking spray
4 oz dried spaghetti
1 Tbsp butter
1 large egg, beaten
1/4 cup (1 ounce) grated parmesan cheese
2 tsp olive oil
1 lb. Italian sausage, removed from casing, or lean ground beef (90 percent lean or higher)
4 cups sliced fresh button mushrooms
1 cup chopped yellow or white onion
1 cup chopped green bell pepper
1 Tbsp dried Onion Flakes
2 cloves garlic, minced or finely grated, or 1 ½ tsp garlic powder
One (8-ounce) can no-salt-added tomato sauce, or 1 can of diced tomatoes, drained
1 tsp dried oregano
1 cup cottage cheese, drained (could also use yoghurt cheese*)
1/2 cup (2 ounces) shredded mozzarella cheese
Fresh basil leaves, for serving (optional)
Position a rack in the middle of the oven and preheat to 350 degrees. Grease a 9-inch pie plate with cooking spray.
Bring a medium pot of lightly salted water to a boil over high heat. Cook the spaghetti according to package directions until al dente, then drain. Return the spaghetti to the pot and stir in the butter until melted. Stir in the egg and parmesan cheese until combined.
Meanwhile, in a 10-inch skillet over medium heat, heat the oil until it shimmers. Add the sausage or beef, mushrooms, onion, bell pepper and garlic and cook, stirring, until the meat is browned and the onion and mushrooms are tender, about 8 minutes. Stir in the tomato sauce and oregano and heat through, about 2 minutes.
Transfer the spaghetti mixture to the prepared pie plate and press it into the bottom and up the sides of the plate, forming a crust. Spread the cottage cheese over the pasta mixture and top with the meat mixture, followed by the mozzarella.
*Yoghurt Cheese is just plain whole fat yoghurt with a bit of salt, that’s strained in the refrigerator overnight in a muslin cloth or coffee filter, letting the whey run off into a bowl. It’s a bit like cream cheese but tangier.