There are 89 days until Christmas. Yes, I counted them using this.
And, while that sounds so far away (it’s September after all), doesn’t it always seem to sneak up on us so quickly?
In the meantime, I’m just concentrating on staying more organized this fall which in turn, should lead me to being more organized as we approach Christmastime.
Have you set out your pumpkins, mums and scarecrows yet?
With the weather cooling off in North Carolina, I plan to get creative with some fall planting and decorating on the front porch. If it it turns out share-worthy, I’ll post some pics next week.
In between shuttling your children to football practice, piano lessons and deciding on Halloween costumes, do you think you could sneak in some time to prepare this rustic spaghetti pie with fresh oregano?
And, just so we are on the same page…when I use the term “rustic,” it usually means things are a little free-form.
If you go to your pantry and you have a nearly full box of spaghetti you’re almost half-way done.
It’s simple, really.
In a large mixing bowl, combine 1 1/4 cup of part-skim ricotta cheese with 1/2 cup of freshly grated Parmagiano Reggiano cheese. Next, add 2 tbsp of melted unsalted butter and 2 lightly beaten eggs. Stir until combined and then add 8 ounces of cooked, drained spaghetti. This spaghetti-cheese mixture will form the first layer of your pie.
This recipe calls for making your own meat sauce. To do that you’ll combine 3/4 lb of lean ground beef with 2 sweet Italian sausages (removed from casings), a 28-ounce can of crushed tomatoes and 3 tbsp of tomato paste. Fresh, minced garlic and seasonings are added to make this simple meat sauce.
After your spaghetti pie has baked for 30 minutes, you’ll add slices of fresh mozzarella cheese and then back into the oven it goes to melt that cheese.
I added some fresh oregano leaves after I removed the casserole dish from the oven, but that is entirely optional. My spaghetti pie took closer to 30 minutes in the oven since I was using a deep casserole dish.
Rustic Spaghetti Pie with Fresh Oregano
3/4 lb lean ground beef
2 pork Italian sausages, removed from casings (I used sweet, but the spicy sausage would work too)
2 cloves garlic, minced
28 ounce can crushed tomatoes
3 tbsp tomato paste (from tube)
1 tbsp fresh oregano, minced
1/2 tsp granulated sugar
1 tsp Kosher salt
freshly ground black pepper to taste
8 oz spaghetti, cooked and drained well
2 eggs, lightly beaten
2 tbsp unsalted butter, melted
1 1/4 cup part-skim ricotta
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmagiano Reggiano cheese
6-8 slices fresh mozzarella
Sprigs of fresh oregano to garnish (optional)
In a nonstick skillet, cook the beef, sausage and minced garlic over medium heat until meat is no longer pink and is cooked through; drain. Stir in the crushed tomatoes, tomato paste, oregano, sugar, salt, and pepper; set aside.
Taste and adjust seasonings, if needed.
In a large bowl, combine the butter, eggs, Parmagiano Reggiano, ricotta cheese with the cooked spaghetti. Coat a casserole dish lightly with cooking spray. Begin layering the spaghetti-cheese mixture then the meat sauce. There should be two layers (ending with meat sauce).
Bake, uncovered, at 350° for 20-30 minutes. Remove from oven and top with mozzarella cheese. Bake 10 minutes longer or until cheese is melted and filling is heated through. Let stand for 5 minutes before serving.
Garnish each serving with fresh oregano, if desired.
Yield: 6-8 servings