“I’m not a chef, I’m Italian”- David Rocco


Saturday, September 15, 2012

Spaghetti Sausage Pie


Ciao a tutti! Last night I knew I felt like making dinner but I wasn’t quite sure what to prepare. I looked through my refrigerator and it hit me! I had fresh eggs, sausage, parsley, garlic, ricotta and parmigiana, so…..Spaghetti Sausage Pie!! If you are familiar with the Food Network show “Chopped” you know that the premise of the show is to build a dish out of four ingredients in the mystery basket. Now, I don’t have a lot of the unusual ingredients that they showcase, but I love challenging myself and trying to figure out what to prepare just by seeing what foods I have in the house.

I love Pasta Pies. The great thing about pasta pies is that you can pretty much do whatever you like with them. For one thing, if you have some leftover pasta from a previous dish and want to spice it up, you can easily add some ingredients to it and bake into a fresh and delicious pie. It is also a great dish served room temperature for a picnic and it travels very well for a party. Like I said, I had sausage, but you can also make it with chicken, beef or vegetables. I cook my pasta al dente because when it is mixed with the egg and cheese mixture it will naturally soften up a little, so when you cook your pasta make sure that it doesn’t get too soft. This way, when it is out of the oven, the inside will be just creamy enough with the cheese and the outside should have a light crunch.

I made this with whole wheat spaghetti; as I’ve said before, I do what I can to make my recipes a bit healthier. Obviously, I am not going to try to pass this dish off as healthy, but every little thing counts. I had a nice slice fresh out of the oven with a side of sautéed zucchini. Let me know what you all think!!

Spaghetti Sausage Pie



2 tablespoons of olive oil
2 links of Italian sausage- hot or sweet, it’s up to you!
¾ cup of ricotta
½ cup of parmigiana
Salt
Pepper
Red pepper
Garlic-chopped
Parsley- chopped
2 eggs
½ a box of spaghetti

First, prepare a small pan with olive oil over medium heat and put the sausage in. Let it cook on each side for a few minutes. Once it has browned, flip to the other side, repeat flipping them every few minutes until they are fully cooked.

Start boiling a pot of water for your pasta and salt the water.

While the sausage is cooking, in a medium size bowl, mix ricotta, parmigiana, salt, pepper, red pepper, chopped garlic and parsley. All of the seasonings are to taste, so you can add as little or as much as you would like. In fact, what I like to do is try a little of cheese mix before I have added the eggs so I can see if it is well seasoned. Next, add the eggs and beat until thoroughly combined.

Once the sausage is done, let it cool for at least ten minutes. At this point, the water should be boiling so throw your pasta in. Spaghetti cooks very quickly, so stand by. While that is cooking, cut your sausage into slices and add to the cheese and egg mixture. Drain the pasta and run cool water it so it doesn’t instantly cook the eggs!!

I cook my pie in a traditional glass pie pan. You can also use a casserole dish if you like. Whatever you use, oil it so the pasta doesn’t stick. Heat your oven to 350 degrees. Add the pasta to the egg and cheese and stir. Put the pasta mix in your pan and into the oven, cook for 30-45 minutes. Everyone’s oven is different, so be sure to check in every few minutes. You don’t want the center soft and undercooked, but you don’t want it burnt. Once you the pie is done, let it sit for around fifteen minutes before serving. Serve with a nice side of sautéed vegetables or a fresh tomato and arugula salad. Buon Appetito!!