Secret Recipe Club Spaghetti Pie

For this month’s Secret Recipe Club, I had Jennifer’s For Such a Time as This blog, which showcases her interests beyond recipes including her family, her faith, and life observations. Like most of us, she struggles to keep her family on track to eat healthy and affordable. Her sticky buns sure looked tempting, along with a number of tasty-sounding desserts and baked goods, but I finally decided to make the spaghetti pie. My guys sometimes plead with me to just make “normal food,” and I knew this fit the bill. Who doesn’t love baked pasta?
I must confess that I made a major mistake in its preparation. I proceeded to cook the ground beef just as I always do when making meat sauce, sautéed with garlic and onions. The recipe has you make meatballs, which I didn’t recall until I read in the last paragraph of the recipe, “Scatter meatballs on top.” What meatballs? What resulted was basically baked spaghetti. While it was tasty, it ended up being nothing out of the ordinary. Craig said he envisioned cooked spaghetti, with no sauce, as the “crust” and sauce, cheese, and veggies as the “pie” filling. I knew the recipe did not have you prepare it like; it calls for combining the cooked pasta, sauce, cheese, and shredded carrots and spooning the mixture into a pie plate. You then scatter the meat balls on top, sprinkle with mozzarella, and bake. Next time, I will attempt to make it more like Craig’s method as a pie. The recipe below reflects Jennifer’s instructions with my ingredient changes, namely the addition of a lot more veggies. I served it with a salad for a complete meal.
Spaghetti Pie
Non stick cooking spray
3 ounces spaghetti
1/2 pound ground beef, preferably grass-fed, hormone- and antibiotic-free
1/4 cup minced broccoli
1 large egg white
2 tablespoons grated Parmesan
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1/2 cup onion, diced (red or white)
1/2 cup carrots, finely diced
1 C broccoli, cut into bite-sized pieces
1/2 cup red bell pepper, diced

1/2 zucchini, shredded (I had some in the freezer from last summer’s abundant zuc crop)
1/2 cup mushrooms, sliced
2-2 1/2 cups marinara sauce, preferably homemade
1 cup cottage cheese, lowfat works
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
Red pepper flakes to taste
1 cup shredded mozzarella, lowfat works

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Coat a 9-inch pie plate with cooking spray.

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil, add the pasta, and cook until al dente. Drain in a colander.

In a small bowl, mix the ground beef with the minced broccoli, egg white, Parmesan, and garlic. Form 1/2 inch balls from the mixture.
In a large skillet, sauté onions until starting to soften. Add carrots, broccoli, and red bell pepper and sauté until almost softened. Add mushrooms and cook until no liquid remains. Remove from heat.
In a large bowl, stir the cooked pasta, sautéed vegetables, marinara sauce, cottage cheese, red pepper flakes, and salt and pepper. 
Spoon mixture into the pie plate and smooth the top. Scatter meatballs on top and sprinkle with mozzarella. Bake, uncovered, until the center is firm and the cheese is bubbly, 25-30 minutes.

25 comments:

  1. I love spaghetti pies. This looks very delicious, I'll have to try it :-)

    All the best,
    Birthe

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    1. Birthe, thanks for stopping by. This was really tasty!

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  2. Looks good. Any kind of baked pasta is great! But then, any pasta is great, IMO. I do like Craig's pie idea - sounds like fun, and I'd bet it'd be pretty. Fun recipe - thanks.

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    1. Thanks John. I think next time I will try Craig's "pie" idea. Something different and you're right, a "slice" would be visually appealing.

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  3. I love all the veggies in this! I so wish my little one would eat this, I'm going to make this anyways though! :-)

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    1. Debbie, all kids -- big and little -- love spaghetti and made as the original recipe was written with meatballs, I'm sure your little one would it. Maybe dice the veggies pretty small and "hide" them. Good luck, and thanks for taking a look!

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  4. Spaghetti pie was one of the first things I learned to make when I got married. My husband loved it. I have not made it in years. Mine did not have veggies and I love that add. Yum.

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    1. Allison, thanks for taking a look. I find that I always tend to add more veggies these days whenever the opportunity presents itself, and this is an easy recipe to do that.

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  5. Yummy! I have a huge love of casserole type dishes! :) They are easy to make and take! Yummy!

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    1. Angie, I'm with you, love one pot dishes like casseroles -- easy to make and clean up.

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  6. Hi Denise,
    I just love all the wonderful ingredients in this recipe, it will be very flavorful! It is fun cooking with you in the SRC!
    Miz Helen

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    1. Miz Helen, thanks for stopping by. Like you, I thoroughly enjoy SRC.

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  7. Still looks good even though yours was different--Although I do like the idea of a pasta crust and deep dish style fillings.

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    1. Thanks, Colleen. I am a bit embarrassed I failed so basically to follow the recipe, but those things happen sometimes. It was still tasty, which is most important.

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  8. haha "normal food" my husband says that to me sometimes too, and I know he means plain ol' spaghetti. Great post! I'm stopping by from SRC but be sure to stop by Seasonal Potluck this month. We have peas AND rhubarb link parties open! We'd love if you'd share any recipes you may have http://bit.ly/H9XJGB

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    1. Betsy, I guess we can concede occasionally that "normal" food is pretty tasty and often so easy to make. I'll check your your linky party (my husband HATES peas, so likely will be rhubarb).

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  9. This looks amazing- comfort food with lots of veggies packed in! I love that you mention the grass-fed, antibiotic- and hormone-free preference. Bravo!

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    1. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

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    2. Elizabeth, thanks for stopping by and nice to meet another STL food blogger. Love the local spin on your blog. Our (1/2 a cow) beef is from Missouri Grass fed Beef (eatmograssfedbeef.com). Check it out. We're thrilled with it.

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  10. Looks like a great casserole. How can you go wrong with baked cheese on top, really?

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    1. Daniel, you're are correct. Anything with baked cheese has to be tasty! Thanks for taking a look.

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  11. I love the idea of a spaghetti pie, and it looks really healthy too with all those vegetables.

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    1. Thanks Corina, healthy and pretty easy and tasty, all things that make for a great recipe.

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  12. this is a wonderful idea! it looks pretty easy and I think that I will make a great impression if I make it tomorrow

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    1. Beti, thanks for stopping by. You and your guests will really enjoy this!

      Denise

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