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Friday, September 13, 2013

Spaghetti Pie (Mel's Kitchen Cafe)

It seems that all of my favorite recipes come from Mel's Kitchen Cafe. She's pretty awesome! I've been wanting to try this one for a while since she said it is her family's favorite. It was a good one and I enjoyed making it, even! I decreased the amount of Parmesan cheese (I only had canned).

12 oz thin spaghetti or vermicelli noodles
1 lb lean ground beef or ground turkey
1 small white or yellow onion, diced
1 clove garlic, finely minced (or ½ tsp garlic powder)
1 tsp salt
½ tsp black pepper
28-oz can crushed tomatoes
16-oz tomato sauce
1 tsp dried basil
½ tsp dried oregano
4 oz light cream cheese, softened
½ c lowfat cottage cheese
¼ c Parmesan cheese, plus (originally 3/4 c)
¾ c mozzarella cheese, divided

Lightly coat a deep 9- or 10” pie plate with cooking spray and set aside. Preheat the oven to 400°.
In a large pot of boiling, salted water, cook the noodles until al dente according to package directions. While the noodles boil, heat a large 12” skillet over medium-high heat and add the ground beef or turkey, breaking it into pieces with a wooden spoon. Add the onion, garlic, salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally and continuing to break up the meat, until the meat is cooked through, 5-7 minutes.

Remove the skillet from the heat and drain any excess grease. Return the skillet to medium heat and stir in the crushed tomatoes, tomato sauce, dried basil and oregano. Simmer the sauce over medium or medium-low heat for 10 min.

When the noodles are done cooking, drain and return to the pot. Immediately stir in the cream cheese and toss the noodles by lightly lifting them up and over with tongs until the cream cheese is mostly melted. Stir in the cottage cheese, ¼ cup Parmesan cheese and ½ c of the mozzarella cheese. Toss until the noodles are evenly coated. Stir in 2 c of the red sauce. Keep the remainder of the red sauce warm on the stove.
Scrape the noodles into the prepared pie plate and using a flat spatula, press the noodles evenly into the dish so they are tightly pressed together and evenly flat across the top. Sprinkle a little more Parmesan cheese and the remaining ¼ c mozzarella cheese across the top.

Bake the spaghetti pie for 20-22 min, until it is hot and bubbly and the cheese is golden on top. Let the dish rest for 10 min. Cut into slices and serve with remaining red sauce.

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