So we sold our house and are now busy looking to find a house to move to, and it’s all very exciting, but Pinterest is seriously taking over my life right now. I want to see every living room layout imaginable, preferably in colours I like, with a crawling child included for ease-of-manoeuvring reference. I want to see what will make every corner of my new space maximally efficient, convenient and, of course, achievable, beautiful and maintainable.
You might think my interior decorating diploma would come in handy in this sort of situation, but let me assure you, it does not. At 30 years of age I have yet to settle on a personal style that is consistent – I like all the styles, all the colours, all the textures, and what I like varies dramatically from summer to winter. Every room I truly love sports gorgeous country-style white couches, a nightmare waiting to happen with four children running rampant. I love colour on the walls, but I also love consistency and flow, so I’m trying to decide which walls and which colours will have the biggest, fastest, home-iest impact. I love colour on the furniture but get heart palpitations at the thought of committing to a bold floral or yellow and cream toile on a couch I am realistically going to be decorating around for at least the next 20 years.
Suffice to say, decorating is not for me.
Nor, come to think of it, is packing, lifting, purging, shifting, or BIG CHANGE in general.
This calls for some comfort food.
Which brings me to another thing – am I the last person in the world to know about spaghetti pies?? Here I’ve been spending my pie days thinking there were crusts and fruit involved, when all along I could have been eating spaghetti?
Game changer, people.
Little known fact about me: spaghetti and a good sauce with hefty amounts of cheese on top is my favourite meal. When we had Gavin, no less than three friends brought us some variation of spaghetti and meatballs, all with enough for leftovers, and I literally ate it every single day for close to two weeks.
Best time of my life.
When I was pregnant with Gemma (so long ago I didn’t even know what a blog was, or even how to make cookies, because yikes, not-so-newly-married me, you be useless), I was waitressing at Old Spaghetti Factory and, on top of free bread, soup, and salad, this entitled me to heaping helpings of spaghetti at $2 an order. That child is practically made of spaghetti, I kid you not.
So spaghetti pie. It is a Thing. After realizing this and manufacturing a version of it posthaste, I’ve been looking at recipes online and realizing that what I make as two pies many people pack into one deep dish pie plate. Meh, just ignore them. Or consider for yourself: tons of spaghetti tightly packed together so you can’t hardly taste the cheese and leftovers for days, or plenty of dinner for tonight and one for the freezer so you DON’T HAVE TO COOK WHEN YOU DON’T WANT TO – what should you choose?
Yeah, I thought so.
Comfort food at its finest, not to be eaten, alas, on the stunning white couches of my dreams.
- 1½ lbs lean ground beef or pork
- 1 small onion, finely chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 red pepper, finely chopped
- 4 mushrooms, finely chopped
- 1 jar tomato sauce or spaghetti sauce
- 1 (6 oz) can tomato paste
- 1 tsp sugar
- 1 tsp dried oregano
- 1 tsp dried Italian seasoning (or a mixture of basil, oregano and parsley)
- ½ tsp each salt and pepper
- 1 box spaghetti pasta (approx. 400 grams/18 oz)
- 3 Tbsp butter
- 2 large eggs, beaten
- ½ cup grated Parmesan cheese
- 2 cups cottage cheese (1 500 mL carton)
- 2½ cups grated mozzarella cheese
- Brown beef with onion, garlic, pepper and mushrooms. Drain any grease.
- Add tomato sauce, tomato paste, sugar, oregano, Italian seasoning, salt and pepper and stir well. Bring to a gentle simmer and cover.
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees and let sauce simmer on low while you cook spaghetti according to package directions, until just al dente. Drain well and stir in butter, eggs and Parmesan cheese.
- Lightly grease 2 9-inch pie plates and divide spaghetti mixture over them.
- Spread cottage cheese over spaghetti, dividing evenly between dishes, then divide ground beef mixture over top. Press down well with spoon and bake, uncovered, for 20 minutes.
- Top with grated cheese and bake another 5-10 minutes, until cheese is melted.
- If you aren't using the second pie immediately, do not top with cheese. Let cool to room temperature and wrap in plastic wrap, then foil. Refrigerate for up to 5 days or freeze for longer storage. To bake from frozen, thaw overnight in refrigerator then remove wrapping and bake at 350 degrees, adding mozzarella after 35 minutes, then baking another 10-15 minutes, until heated through and cheese is melted.
Adapted from various sources, inspired by Art and the Kitchen.