Traditional spaghetti pie has been a favorite of mine since childhood. As my mother reminds me, it was a standby in our house for many, many years. My brother and I would always eat it without a whiff of protest! I’ve been revisiting it lately since my children love spaghetti, and it’s always a fun dinner to put on the table. While I often make my mother’s version with chopped up meatballs, I’ve recently come to love flavoring it up with extra tomatoes and fresh mozzarella and basil just like a Caprese salad.
The key to this easy Italian meal is to layer everything carefully and bake it thoroughly. While it bakes, the flavors meld like lasagna. I always serve a big green salad and crispy garlic bread on the side. That is all you need to round out the family meal!
Caprese Spaghetti Pie
Makes: 1 10-inch pie, about 4 to 6 servings
7 ounces spaghetti, cooked
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 large eggs
1/4 cup finely grated Parmesan cheese
1 tablespoon fresh basil, chopped
4 ounces fresh mozzarella cheese, thinly sliced
3/4 cup ricotta cheese
1/2 cup marinara sauce
1/2 cup crushed tomatoes with juices
1. Heat the oven to 350 F. Oil the bottom and sides of a 10-inch pie pan.
2. In a large bowl toss the spaghetti with the olive oil. Beat the eggs in a small bowl and then toss them with the spaghetti. Then toss in the Parmesan cheese and half of the basil. Transfer the spaghetti mixture to the pie pan and form a well in the middle (this will hold your sauce and cheese) and pull the pasta up the sides of the pan to form a crust.
3. Scatter 3 ounces of the fresh mozzarella slices on top of the spaghetti to form a layer of cheese. Spread the ricotta over the cheese. Then pour the marinara sauce and crushed tomatoes on top. Top the sauce layer with the remaining mozzarella slices and basil.
4. Cover the pie pan with foil and bake it for 25 minutes, or until the top is bubbly and golden. Remove the foil and bake for 5 more minutes, or until the cheese is browned. Remove from the oven and allow to cool for 10 minutes before cutting and serving.