We have had lots of struggles and challenges in our lives, but we've had even more blessings!

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Pasta Pie

     Just so you know, this posting is actually part two of a 'probably' four part series, out of which came three different meals. Two of the recipes are my own, which I had made up years ago and everybody still loves. The other two, were items I found via Pinterst and wanted to try. They were H-U-G-E hits! :-D
    Yesterday's posting was about one of my own recipes, 'Spaghetti Sauce'. One of the reasons that I had made such a big batch of it, was so that I could use it in the Pasta Pie idea I had pinned on Pinterest.
     To see my pin, go HERE. To see the blog posting and blog that it had originally been pinned from, go HERE. The blog owner said she had adapted it from one of Martha Stewart's recipes. I tried to find Martha's recipe on line, but couldn't.
    Yes, the pinned 'Pasta Pie' did contain a recipe for the sauce to use in the pie. But knowing how much my family likes my sauce, and wanting to make it for a couple other dinners/recipes as well, I opted to use my own Spaghetti Sauce in this pasta pie recipe.  (Hopefully all of that just made sense.)

    Your first step then to make this recipe the same way that I did, is to make my recipe for Spaghetti Sauce.

    Second step - Bring a large pot of water to boiling. Squirt it with one good squirt of pan coating spray. (Doing so will help the noodles not stick together while cooking.). Cook the noodles about two minutes less than their package says to. According to the blog this recipe came from, "One pound of pasta should be cooked in 6 quarts of water. Make sure you use a big enough pot so the pasta doesn't stick together.".
     When your timer goes off (easiest way I know of to keep track of how long somethings been boiling/baking/sauteing/etc.), pour the contents of the pot out into a big strainer sitting down in your sink.

    Rinse the noodles in cold water. Shake the strainer real food. Rinse again. Dump the noodles into a large bowl and toss with 1 Tablespoon of Olive Oil to coat. (Doing so helps them not stick together while sitting there.)  Then toss the pasta with Parmesan cheese (preferably the fresh shredded type).

    Third step - Spray a 9 inch springform pan with pan coating spray. With one hand holding the pan up at an angle, start tightly packing the pasta into the pan, standing open tube in up.

    Keep going -

     Until the pan is completely full, like this -
       Yes, according to Benson, this is completely tedious boring work. We needed more than one for our Sunday dinner, so he was doing up one pan while I did the other. (Thanks again Benson!)
       Sprinkle the full pan with some more Parmesan cheese, for good measure.

      If you too had made the Spaghetti Sauce up a couple of days ahead of time and it's been in your fridge blending it's flavors together into awesomeness like ours was,

        have your husband reheat some for you. (Thanks again Brian!)

        Fourth step - Then start ladling the warmed meat mixture onto the noodles and using a big wooden spoon (or at least that's what I used) pat/pack it down into the open noodle holes.

      Quick movements like this, help. o;-p

      It will start looking like this -

      Add more sauce and work it down into the noodles too.

        I don't know if it was due to how thick my sauce is, or what, but it just seemed to us like not as much sauce was going into the noodles like it should be. So we chose to add a layer of the sauce to the top of the pan.

       Next comes a hearty layer of shredded mozzarella.

      Hearty layer!

      Both pan fulls ready to go in to the oven.

     Bake at 400o for 25 to 30 minutes.
     Remove from oven and let stand for 15 minutes. ( <-- IMPORTANT!)
      Run a regular table knife around the edge of the pan to loosen and then unmold.

      To serve, slice it into wedges like you would a regular pie.

     This is a picture of our meal that Sunday.
         (Next time we are going to serve it sitting on a pedestal cake stand. The 'Wow' factor will increase! )

     Dinner menu:
      Pasta Pie
      Garlic Parmesan Pull-Apart Bread (that's tomorrow's posting ;->)
      Home made Marinara Sauce (for dipping the bread in)
      Chocolate Dipped Pretzel Sticks (yet another 'pinned' recipe ;->)

     The conscientious?  "Mom, I know this takes a lot of time and effort to make, so maybe not have it often, how about every other month?" That came from all the way around the table! Yuppers, we had a winner!

         And now for the actual recipe -
             Pasta Pie
                 Cheryl B. adapted it from Cathy at the 'Noble Pig' blog,
                     who had adapted it from Martha Stewart.

      One recipe Cheryl's Spaghetti Sauce
      1 pound *Rigatoni Noodles
      1 Tablespoon Olive Oil
      2 cups finely grated Parmesan Cheese, divided
      8 oz. grated Mozzarella

     While bringing a big pot of water to boil, start reheating some of the Spaghetti Sauce you had made a couple of days ago.
     Once the water reaches the full rolling boil point, spray it with one hearty spray of pan coating spray, then dump in the uncooked noodles. Cook the noodles two minutes less than directed to on their packaging. When the time is up, dump pan contents into a big strainer sitting down in your sink. Rinse well with cold water. Repeat.
    Dump the noodles into a large bowl and mix with the Tablespoon of Olive Oil.  Then mix with one of the cups of the Parmesan cheese.
    Heavily spray the inside of a 9-inch springform pan.
    Holding the pan up on an angle with one hand, use your other hand to start packing the noodles in in standing up position. Keep going till pan is really full.
   Sprinkle the full pan with some more Parmesan cheese, for good measure.
    Push the spaghetti sauce in to the noodles, hopefully filling them all the way up.
    Add a layer of the spaghetti sauce to the top of the filled noodles.
    Top that with a hearty layer of mozzarella cheese.

     Bake at 400o for 25 to 30 minutes. Remove from oven and let stand for 15 minutes. Run a knife around the edge to loosen and then unmold.

     Cut into wedges (pie style) and serve.

      (about the * by Rigatoni Noodles. Next time we are going to try a similar shape but larger around noodle.)

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
I 'plan' on linking this particular posting up to:

  ~ "Full Plate Thursday('s)", are hosted by Miz Helen, at 'Miz Helen's Country Cottage' (http://mizhelenscountrycottage.blogspot.com/).     
  ~ "Foodie Friday('s)", are hosted by "Gollum" (aka: Michael), at 'Designs by Gollum' (http://designsbygollum.blogspot.com/)   
  ~ "Sweets For A Saturday", hosted by Lisa, at 'Sweet As Sugar Cookies' (http://sweet-as-sugar-cookies.blogspot.com)
  ~ "Simply Delish Sunday('s)", are hosted by KB and Whitesnakes, at 'KB and Whitesnakes Home' (http://kbandwhitesnakeshome.blogspot.com)
 ~ "Creative Monday's", are hosted by Clair Justine, at 'Clairejustineoxox' (http://clairejustineoxox.blogspot.com/), and Judy, at 'Judy-H-JS Thoughts' (http://judyh-jsthoughts.blogspot.com/)
  ~ "Homemaker Mondays ... Yours, Mine & Ours", are hosted by Jen, at '11th Heaven's Homemaking Haven'  (http://rtheyallyours.blogspot.com/).
  ~ "Making Your Home Sing Monday('s)", are hosted by Nan, at 'Mom's the Word (I love to hear)'  (http://momstheword--livingforhim.blogspot.com/).
  ~  "Kitchen Tip Tuesday('s)", hosted by Tammy, at 'Tammy's Recipes'  (http://www.tammysrecipes.com/). 
 ~ "Tuesday's Tasty Tidbits", hosted by Susan, at 'Permanent Posies / Creative Chaos' (http://permanentposies.com/)
 ~ "Totally Tasty Tuesdays", are hosted by Mandy, at 'Mandy's Recipe Box' (http://www.mandysrecipebox.blogspot.com/).
  ~ "Tempt My Tummy Tuesday('s)", are hosted by Lisa, at 'Blessed with Grace'  (http://www.blessedwithgrace.net/).
  ~ "Foodie Wednesday('s)", are hosted by Bibi, at 'Daily Organized Chaos' (http://www.dailyorganizedchaos.com/). 
   ~ "These Chicks Cooked Link Party",
hosted by Katie L, at 'This Chick Cooks' (http://thischickcooks.blogspot.com)
  ~ "What's Cooking Wednesday('s)" (shall we say # 1 ?), are hosted by Cristi, at 'The King's Court IV' (http://www.thekingscourt4.blogspot.com/), and by  Diane, at 'Turning The Clock Back' ("one eco friendly step at a time") (http://turning-the-clock-back.blogspot.com/)).       


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