Monday, March 25, 2013

Spaghetti Pie ("Busy Mama's Lasagna")

"Pie" before freezing or baking
The five pans of "spaghetti  pie" before I added the meat sauce on top

Spaghetti Pie ("Busy Mama's Lasagna")

I made this recipe five times to make five deep 9 x13 casseroles---one for today and four for the freezer! :) Each deep casserole serves eight to ten people well.

10 oz spaghetti
4 eggs
2 TBSP butter
3/4 cup Parmesan cheese
12 oz of cottage cheese, sour cream, or ricotta cheese (I have never used anything but cottage cheese)
4 cups favorite spaghetti sauce ("marinara")
1 1/2  cup shredded Mozzarella cheese (plus 1/2 cup more for top)
Up to 1/4 cup milk
1 1/2 lb meat (I use ground beef, but I have seen recipes that call for crumbled sausage--and smoked sausage would also work in a pinch and reduce your prep time)

1. Break spaghetti in thirds and cook until al dente in boiling water. (I used 48 oz of spaghetti so used my huge stock in REALLY big...).

2. Cook ground beef and drain it.

3. Drain spaghetti. While warm, add butter, eggs, and Parmesan cheese to the pasta and toss.

4. Place into a well greased casserole. (At this point, many recipes say to "make a well" for the cottage cheese mixture; I just layer it right over all of the pasta, more like a lasagna.)

5. Mix cottage cheese, mozzarella cheese, and a little milk (as needed for "spreadability").

6. Spread cottage cheese mixture over pasta base.

7. Combine meat and red sauce. Pour over cottage cheese layer.

8.  Bake at 350 degrees for 40 minutes uncovered.

9. If desired, sprinkle another 1/2 cup of mozzarella over dish during last ten minutes.

This recipe was in my "ground beef cycle" from my many years of MEGA freezer cooking. It freezes great and makes a nice all-in-one-dish entree for a new baby's arrival or for feeding many people a hearty entree (when using two or three of them).

 Five foil pans of Spaghetti Pie ready for the freezer!
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