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Friday, July 1, 2011

Happy 4th of July!

I hope everyone is having a great summer so far and is looking forward to the holiday weekend. I love the 4th of July, I always dress in red, white, and blue and am like a kid when the fireworks start. We live near a park which has a fireworks display and we can sit on our front steps and watch the fireworks!

The "lazy days of summer" really don't apply any more, do they? We have a busy, fun summer planned for our family. My son is off at scout camp this week and my daughter is going to horse camp next week. We still have weekly riding lessons, Tae Kown Do, and my Mother in Law is giving the kids an art lesson once a week. We have our usual week at Hilton Head Island, SC and I am accompanying my husband on a business trip to Las Vegas. Like I would let him go to Vegas without me! I guess I will have to lay out at the pool or go to the spa while he is in his meetings!! We also have some weekend getaways planned, some with kids and some without!

I had put up a post on Twitter about a spaghetti pie that I wanted to share with you. My sister told me about this dish and I got the recipe off of Allrecipes.com, a site I visit often. You can get reviews and tips from people who have made the dish before and a lot of them are really helpful.

Here is the recipe: I did make a few changes which I will tell you about.

1 (6 oz) package spaghetti
2T butter
1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese
2 eggs, beaten
1 LB ground beef
1/2 cup chopped onion
1/4 cup chopped green pepper
1 clove minced garlic
1 (14.5 oz) can diced tomatoes
1 (6 oz) can tomato paste
1t sugar
1t dried oregano
1 cup cottage cheese
1/2 cup Mozzarella cheese

This is what I changed: I use any kind of pasta. It is a great way to use up any pasta you have in your pantry, you know, well I do, how you have 3 or 4 boxes of pasta, each with only a little in the box? I just combine them all and make a "Pasta Pie". I substitute a roll of hot italian sausage for the ground beef, ground turkey will work well too. I omit the green pepper because my kids don't like them, but red peppers would be good. If you don't have fresh garlic (who does not have fresh garlic?) you can use garlic powder, not garlic salt. I also omit the sugar, I don't like sweet pasta sauce, but if you do, by all means add it. Instead of just oregano, I use an italian spice mix to give more flavor. I add an 8 oz can of tomato sauce to make it a bit saucier, but if you like drier pie then don't add extra sauce. And lastly, 1/2 cup of Mozz, Really??? I use as much as I can. The more cheese the better I think. As my daughter says "Cheesy Cheese is GOOD"!!

Cook and drain the pasta. Stir in butter, parm, and eggs while the pasta is hot. (Not too hot, or you will have pieces of scrambled egg in your crust) Form pasta mixture into a crust in a buttered 10" pie pan. I use a slightly larger pan, one from Le Creuset that holds more pie!

In a skillet cook the beef (sausage) onion, green pepper and garlic. Drain off fat and stir in the undrained tomatoes, tomato paste, (tomato sauce), sugar and oregano. Heat through.

Spread cottage cheese over pasta crust and then pour in the meat and tomato mixture.

You can see the cottage cheese peeking out underneath the meat mixture. The cottage cheese gives the pie such a creamy texture, and even if you kids, or husband, say they don't like cottage cheese, everyone in the family will love it.

Bake at 350 degrees for approx 20 minutes. Sprinkle the mozzarella cheese over the top of the pie and bake for an additional 5-10 minutes until the cheese melts.  I broil mine at the end to give it that beautiful brown color.

                                              The finished product. Can't wait to dig in can you?


I hope everyone has a fun, safe holiday weekend and has lots of family and friends to share good food, good fun, and fireworks!


  1. Wow this looks unbelievably delicious!! Love your blog and so glad to be your newest follower! :)

  2. This sounds wonderful. I found you blog by chance but having spent time to browse you earlier entries can say that I'll be back. I really like the food and recipes you share with your readers and I enjoyed the time I spent here. I hope you have a greatday. Blessings...Mary