Spaghetti Pie

Spaghetti Pie

Feature Recipe | Spaghetti Pie

Spaghetti pie is a delicious ‘hybrid’ of my two favourite Italian-inspired dishes: lasagna meets spaghetti and meatballs. There are many variations of spaghetti pie out there the basics are a bottom “crust” layer composed of spaghetti tossed with butter and parmesan cheese, a second layer made with white cheese (typically ricotta or cottage cheese), a third layer of meat-based tomato sauce and a top layer of shredded mozzarella cheese. Yes it’s as delicious (and then some) as it sounds 😊

I’ve been making spaghetti pie since Janik and I started dating some 10+ years ago. I was looking for a way to use leftover cooked spaghetti noodles and recall finding a recipe on All Recipes.com (before the likes of Pinterest and Yummly, lol). This (obviously) non plant-based recipe called for a “crust” made by coating spaghetti with plenty of butter, a few eggs and aged parmesan cheese. The white cheese layer called for ricotta while the sauce layer was a bolognese-style sauce. The pie was topped off with a blend of shredded mozzarella and parmesan (the rich, savoury kind of course). Today I share my plant-based twist on this family favourite…

Using our simple hemp seed parmesan cheese adds a tender crunch and nutty flavour to the noodle crust that is simply delicious. This recipe calls for flax eggs in lieu of regular eggs since I wanted a good binding agent, but also something with a neutral flavour (to let the flavour of the vegan butter and parmesan shine!) It worked wonderfully . The tofu-based ricotta is unbelievably simple to make and complements the acidity of the tomatoes and the saltiness of the parmesan. The spaghetti sauce is a Bolognese-style sauce with the perfect balance of tart meets smooth. If you’re lucky enough to find some of the Daiya® Cutting Board series mozzarella cheese shreds you definitely want to use these shreds for your pie topping as they have the best “melt factor”.

Have I teased your senses for some Italian fare? Check out these popular pasta and cheese lovin’ favourites:
Creamy Alfredo Sauce
Pasta Carbonara
Italian Wedding Soup with TVP Meatballs

Enjoy~

Ingredients

Hemp Parmesan Cheese (yield=3/4 cup)

  • ½ cup hemp seeds, raw & shelled
  • 1 Tbsp nutritional yeast
  • ½ tsp Himalayan pink salt
  • ¼ tsp garlic powder

Tofu Ricotta

  • 1 pkg/350g silken tofu
  • 2 Tbsp oil (20g) (Any light variety such as canola, avocado or grapeseed would work)
  • 1 tsp nutritional yeast
  • ½ tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp basil
  • 1 tsp thyme
  • 1 tsp sage
  • Spinach leaves, fresh (optional)
  • Few pinches each of salt & pepper

Noodle & Cheese Crust

  • 1 lb cooked pasta (still hot!)
  • 1/3 cup Earth Balance vegan butter, room temperature (90g)
  • 1/2 cup flax egg
  • 3/4 cup Hemp Parmesan Cheese
  • Pinch of Himalayan pink salt

Simple Savoury Spaghetti Sauce

  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 6 basil leaves
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • Pinch of Himalayan pink salt
  • 1 pkg/340 g Yves Veggie Cuisine Ground Round (or other plant-based beef alternative)
  • 1.5 teaspoons vegetable bouillon powder
  • Pinch of salt & pepper
  • 1.5 cups tomato sauce (380g)
  • 1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar (5g)
  • 1 teaspoon cane sugar (5g)
  • Water (250g)

This & That

  • 2 cups vegan mozzarella shreds
  • Olive oil (to drizzle)
  • Pinch of Himalayan pink salt

Instructions

Prep It (see Recipe Notes for details)

1/Get ½ cup flax egg ready
2/Prepare one batch of Hemp Parmesan Cheese
3/Prepare one batch of Tofu Ricotta

4/Prepare one batch of Simple Savoury Spaghetti Sauce
5/Prepare Noodle & Cheese Crust
6/Preheat oven to 400F.

Assemble It

1/Transfer the Noodle & Cheese Crust mixture to a pie pan or deep baking dish. Press the mixture to form the bottom “crust” of your pie.

2/Sprinkle half the batch of Hemp Parmesan Cheese over the pie “crust”. Spread Simple Savoury Spaghetti Sauce over the crust.
3/Spread the Tofu Ricotta over the spaghetti sauce (no need to be finicky at this stage, blend them together if you want!). Top withMozzarella Shreds.
4/Sprinkle reserved Hemp Parmesan Cheese (this is your final layer of the pie). Gently drizzle olive oil over the pie; finish with a few pinches of Himalayan pink salt.

Cook It

1/Bake at 350F (uncovered) for 30-60 minutes or until the pie is set and edges are golden.

Recipe Notes

*How to prepare ½ cup flax egg:

-Combine 2.5 Tbsp ground flax seed in ½ cup warm water. Let the mixture sit in the refrigerator for 15 minutes to thicken)

*How to prepare Hemp Parmesan Cheese:

-Add ingredients to a food processor. Pulse until the mixture just starts to combine. Don’t pulse too much– the cheese should be granular and not a paste!

*How to prepare Tofu Ricotta:

-Add silken tofu, oil (of choice), nutritional yeast and dry spices (garlic powder through thyme) to a high-powered blender. Process until smooth.
-Add fresh spinach leaves (if using) and a few pinches each of salt and pepper. Blend well. Taste and adjust seasonings as needed. Set aside.

*How to prepare Simple Savoury Spaghetti Sauce:

-Add a glug of olive oil to a skillet on medium-low heat. Add minced garlic, chopped onion, basil leaves and a pinch of salt. Sauté until the onions are translucent and golden in colour.  
Add ground round, vegetable bouillon powder and a pinch each of salt and pepper to the skillet. Sauté until the ground round is nicely browned and starts to turn crispy.
Add tomato sauce, balsamic vinegar, cane sugar and water to skillet. Cook on medium-low heat for 10-15 minutes (stirring occasionally) or until mixture is smooth. Taste and adjust seasoning if required.  

*How to prepare Noodle & Cheese Crust:

-In a large mixing bowl combine room temperature butter with just-cooked spaghetti noodles (the butter should melt).
-Add the flax egg, hemp parmesan cheese and salt to the mixing bowl. Stir to coat the pasta. Set aside.
Reminder: Reserve balance of parmesan cheese (approx. ¼ cup) for later use.

 

 



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