When my son John was 11 months old and teething, his twin sisters arrived. We referred to them as “Irish triplets.” Needless to say, it was an incredibly busy time. Some of our neighbors organized a couple of weeks of meals delivered to our door. It was one of the nicest gifts anyone could have received given the circumstances. Taking care of the three babies left little time to eat—let alone cook. I survived those days on sheer adrenalin and lots and lots of coffee.
Sara and Amy were a week old when one neighbor delivered supper still warm from her kitchen. I was incredibly grateful as I was really tired and hungry. Roger and I filled our plates and sat down each holding a baby with John between us. I had just started eating when “my” baby (can’t remember if it was Sara or Amy) had an episode of projectile vomiting and hit my dinner plate with bull’s eye precision. Having been totally desensitized to barf and poop at that point in my life, I calmly got up, filled a new plate with food, and sat down to eat again. Roger hadn’t gotten to my level of desensitization yet and had lost his appetite. He asked me somewhat incredulously if I were really going to continue eating, and I assured him that I was—and I did!
One of the many meals brought to our door during that time was a delicious spaghetti pie. It had all the components of lasagna but in an innovative form. I particularly liked the “crust” made of spaghetti. I had never had it before, and my neighbor told me it was one of her kids’ favorites. It became a family favorite with us as well—once the kids got teeth!
- 1/2 lb. spaghetti, uncooked
- 1 tbl. olive oil
- 1/3 cup grated Romano cheese
- 2 eggs, beaten
- 1 cup (8 oz.) cottage (or ricotta) cheese
- 1/2 cup shredded Italian 3- or 6-cheese blend
- One batch of tomato sauce made with 1/2 lb. hamburger
Make batch of tomato sauce (use link to get recipe). We prefer to have it be a meat sauce, but that is optional. If adding the meat, follow the directions on the tomato sauce recipe.
Cook spaghetti; drain. In large bowl, toss spaghetti with oil; reserve 1 cup spaghetti for filling. Toss remaining spaghetti with Romano cheese and eggs. Turn into greased 10-inch pie plate. Press spaghetti mixture into bottom and up sides of pie plate to form crust. Evenly spread cottage or ricotta cheese over bottom of spaghetti crust. Spread the reserved cup of spaghetti over the cottage cheese. Spoon meat sauce over the top of the spaghetti you have just added, leaving the very top of the spaghetti “crust” exposed.
At this point, the original recipe says to cover the spaghetti pie with greased foil. If you don’t know by now, I will tell you that aluminum foil and tomato sauce don’t get along. If aluminum foil touches tomato sauce, the acid from the tomatoes will eat a hole in the foil leaving you with blackened pieces of foil cooked into your food. I have a ceramic cover which fits nicely over my pie plate. If I didn’t have that, I would opt to use wax paper rather than foil.
Bake in preheated 350o oven for 20 minutes. Sprinkle with Italian blend cheese; continue baking uncovered for 8 to 10 minutes or until cheese is melted.
College Corner Notes from Sara:
- Buy a jar of pasta sauce (don’t tell my mother!)
- Use an Italian cheese blend whenever cheese is required.
- Make it a meal:
-Add a roll or piece of baguette
-Add a side of simple salad (recipe to come!) or your favorite vegetables, frozen veggies are convenient and healthy!
Source: My former neighbor, Beverly. There are now numerous versions on the web.