Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Spaghetti Pie + acoupla shots of Florida Beaches

Today I'm unapologetically sharing another recipe similar to a recent recipe using the same ingredients of pasta, ground meat and cheese, but replaced lasagna noodles with spaghetti noodles, amped up the vegetable quotient in hopes of tricking little people's palates into submission adoring vegetables, and baked the lot into crispity, crunchity edges that not even the pickiest eater can deny as delicious. There are no apologies here, baby!

You'll be feeling pretty victorious when you sneak onion, garlic, mushrooms, zucchini, and carrot into a seemingly innocent red meat sauce (I subbed ground lamb for beef - more victorious sneaking!) topped with ooey, gooey mozzarella inside a pasta shell that crisps up in the oven into a slice of wholesome, family and budget friendly Spaghetti Pie. 
Extra Super Bonus: This recipe can be prepped ahead by cooking up the meat sauce and refrigerating on stand-by until needed to reheat on busy weeknights. Your next nutritious, fast and filling weeknight meal is as easy as boiling pasta, shredding cheese and baking the pie. Now, that is victory. 

PS — Adoring the artisan pie plate holding my Spaghetti Pie? I know. Get one here

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Spaghetti Pie
recipe adapted from The Live Well Network

1 pound ground lamb or beef
1/2 onion, diced
1 carrot, shredded
1 zucchini, shredded
1 cup mushrooms, sliced
2 cloves garlic, minced
14 ounces marinara sauce or tomato sauce
1 teaspoon dried basil
8 ounces spaghetti noodles
2 tablespoons olive oil + more for greasing dish
1 cup shredded mozzarella
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

Preheat oven to 350ºF. 

Brown meat in a large non-stick skillet over moderate heat. Season with salt and pepper. Remove meat from skillet when cooked through and reserve. 

In the same skillet, sauté onion, carrot, zucchini and mushrooms over moderate heat until softened, about 8 minutes. Add garlic and sauté for another minute. 

Pour marinara sauce over sautéed vegetables, season with basil and additional salt and pepper. Return ground meat to the skillet and simmer for 15 minutes over medium heat, uncovered, stirring occasionally.  Meat sauce can be placed in an airtight container at this point, refrigerated for 2-3 days and reheated. 

Meanwhile, bring a stock pot of water to a rolling boil. Season with salt, add pasta and cook for 7 minutes. Drain when pasta is al dente and toss with olive oil. Nestle pasta into a deep 9" pie plate that has been greased with olive oil. Scoop meat sauce onto pasta, pushing pasta up the sides and leaving a 1/2" border. Top meat sauce with shredded mozzarella. 

Tent pie plate with tinfoil and bake for 20 minutes. Remove tinfoil and bake for an additional 5 minutes if you're like me and die for crispyity, crunchy edges. Let sit for 10 minutes before serving in slices. 
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Below you'll find a small collage of my family's Southwest Florida spring break. We sunned at and shelled the beaches of Sanibel and Captiva, there are so many shells littering the beaches someone had used shells in sand sculptures of mermaids, fish, seaman, turtles - the creativity and patience blew my mind! 

The close-up shell (middle, third column) is taken with my macro lens I attached to my iPhone. 

Our vacation found us spending an afternoon staying an arm's length away from reptiles that should be locked in a cage not on a zoo keeper's arm touching reptiles and playing pretend scientist at the Fort Meyer's Imaginarium

We explored the island of Matlacha and visited Leoma Lovegrove's gallery (middle picture). 

And we had a lot of pool time. Did I say a lot of pool time
**This post includes affiliate links so as to fund more Spaghetti Pies.

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