Sunday, July 5, 2009

More Pie!

I hope you aren't disappointed, but this post is not about a dessert pie. Nope, this is a dinner pie. It's called a pie because essentially you are forming a crust in a pie plate using........wait for it.......spaghetti. Or in my case, angel hair.

I am very surprised at myself for not posting this recipe much much sooner. It's one of my favorites. Of course, it has all my favorite elements: pasta, tomatoes and gooey cheese. What more could a girl ask for?

This recipe came from someone named Terri Enberg (I hope I spelled her name right). I worked with her years ago at JK Gill. She brought this in for lunch one day and I had to have the recipe. It originally comes from the Oregonian's Food Day circular.

The great thing about this recipe is that it can be slimmed way down. For those on Weight Watchers or watching their fat intake, just substitute the cheeses with lower fat options. This is also a meatless dish, which tend to be lower cost to make. So not only is it great for people counting calories, it's great for people counting pennies.

I had all the ingredients on hand for this dish except for the ricotta. I would be willing to bet that you will also have many of these ingredients on hand. I always keep shredded cheese in the fridge, and I always have tomato or spaghetti sauce and pasta on hand.

So, without further ado: Pie!

Spaghetti Pie
from: Oregonian Food Day

8 ounces hot, cooked spaghetti, drained
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 eggs, well beaten
1/2 cup plus two tablespoons parmesan cheese, grated and divided
1 cup part-skim ricotta cheese (1/2 of a 15 oz container)
1 cup spaghetti sauce
1/2 cup grated mozzarella cheese

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease a 10-inch pie plate. Set aside.

2. In a large bowl, toss hot spaghetti with olive oil. In a small bowl, combine eggs and 1/2 cup parmesan cheese. Stir into spaghetti. Pour spaghetti mixture into prepared pie plate, spreading to form a crust.

3. Spread ricotta evenly over the crust, but not quite to the edge. Top with spaghetti sauce.

4. Bake uncovered for 25 minutes. Top with shredded mozzarella and bake 5 minutes longer, until cheese melts.

5. Remove from oven and sprinkle with remaining 2 tablespoons parmesan. Cool 10 minutes before cutting into wedges.


I have never met a pie I didn't like. Well, maybe coconut cream......although, in a pinch, I will eat it. To be patriotic without being cliche (apple pie - not that there is anything wrong with it!), I wanted to make an Independence Day dessert that was "American". Who doesn't associate blueberry pie with America?

To be honest with you, I have never made a berry pie before. I have made pumpkin, apple, chocolate, spaghetti pie (see my next post) and even meat pies. Never a blueberry.

As much as I love making crust from scratch, I cheated here. I used refrigerator pie crust. Now before you scold me, have you tasted the Pillsbury stuff lately? It's very good! And unless you told someone it was store bought, chances are, they probably won't notice the difference. Another reason for my laziness with the crust is that I just don't have a place to roll out a pie crust. I don't need to post pictures of my kitchen again do I?

Luckily for me, I found blueberries at Costco. They were excellent quality, hardly any of them needed to be de-stemmed and only about three needed to be thrown away because they were mushy. Here's the only bummer: There were no blueberries left. I really wanted to make muffins or something. That's okay. I know where to buy large quantities of blueberries next time.

I went to the authority on baking for this recipe. Betty Crocker. She never seems to mess around when it comes to yummy baked goods. On another note, we nickname my sister Becky Crocker because she loves to bake. She even has an apron embroidered with Becky Crocker.

This was a very simple recipe to put together. Dump the blueberries, mix the dry ingredients, pour into the prepared crust, sprinkle with two other ingredients and bake. Voila! One delicious, very nutritious (with the exception of the sugar) pie. Did you know that blueberries are one of the best fruits you can eat? They are loaded with antioxidants. So, I didn't feel guilty when I stuffed my face with this pie last night.

Now, how is that I can never find my pie plate? I think it's because the times I do make a pie are at Thanksgiving and I typically leave the pie plate at my aunt's. I bet she has a huge collection of plates thanks to me. I should start writing my name on them in Sharpie or something. It is an expensive habit to continually buy pie plates.

Happy Indepedence Day! Now, where is that leftover pie?

Blueberry Pie
from: Betty Crocker

pastry for two-crust pie
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup flour
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon, if desired
6 cups blueberries
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 tablespoon stick margarine or butter

1. Heat oven to 425 degrees. Prepare pastry.

2. Mix sugar, flour and cinnamon in a large bowl. Stir in blueberries. Turn into pastry-lined pie plate. Sprinkle with lemon juice. Dot with butter. Cover with top pastry that has slits cut in it; seal and flute. Cover edge with 2-3 inch foil strips to prevent excess browning. Remove foil during last 15 minutes of baking.

3. Bake 35 to 45 minutes or until crust is brown and juice begins to bubble through slits in crust. Cool in pie plate on wire rack.

I have never seen a berry pie that is cut that isn't oozing out the side. Unless you are a food photographer. Or maybe a professional baker.