My Mother in Law makes really good lasagna; I had it for the first time a few months ago and really enjoyed it, so much so that I plan on making it and sharing it here sometime in the future but for the time being I am using her idea of using cream cheese in the place of ricotta and making my own version of spaghetti pie.
This “pie” has 4 delicious layers, the noodle crust, a cream cheese and spinach cheese layer, the meat sauce layer and then the bubbling gooey cheese topping. It is phenomenal, a truly delicious play on spaghetti and lasagna mixed together.
8 ounces spaghetti, cooked and drained
2 tablespoons butter
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
1/3 cup parmesan cheese
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 small onion, diced
1 clove garlic, minced
1 pound hamburger meat, thawed
13 ounce can spaghetti sauce
10 ounce package frozen spinach, thawed and drained
8 ounce cream cheese, room temp.
1/3 cup parmesan cheese
½ cup shredded mozzarella
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease a 10 inch pie plate with butter, set aside.
Toss hot cooked noodles in leftover butter. Mix the eggs and 1/3 cup shredded parmesan together in a small bowl. Toss with spaghetti. Add the spaghetti to prepared pie plate and shape into a crust shape gong up the sides of the plate.
Cook the onions and garlic in the olive oil until the onions are just translucent. Add the hamburger meat to the skillet and cook until the meat is cooked through. Stir in the pasta sauce and heat through. You’re looking for a thick meat sauce, remember this is being used as a filling so it needs to be a firm layer when cut into.
Place the cream cheese in a bowl and combine with spinach by removing small amounts of spinach from the colander, squeezing vigorously to remove remaining moisture, and then adding to the cream cheese. Add the black pepper and the rest of the parmesan cheese and stir to combine.
To assemble you put the cheese mixture into the middle of the “crust” and smooth out. Top with the meat sauce and bake, uncovered, 25 minutes.
Top with the mozzarella and bake an additional 5 minutes, or until the cheese is melted. Remove from oven, let cool about 10 minutes, then slice and serve, like a pie.
The end result was an incredibly tasty “pie” that was about the same amount of work as making homemade lasagna.
Would I make this again? Absolutely, we loved it, I am already thinking of ways to adapt it in the future. I also see this as a perfect halloween recipe with a clever name. It will be showing up on our table again in the near future.