Tuesday, April 4, 2017

Efficiency at it's finest

A full freezer is an efficient freezer – so says my mom. And my dad says their freezer is SO efficient!!
Our freezer is working its way towards efficient – oh can you guess where this post is going? Can you? Can you?!
Oh yeah, freezer meals! This edition – Spaghetti Pie. One of our favorites.
This time in the round of freezer meal making I decided to only make meals that we are excited about. No settling on meals here – we want to be excited for the meals we pick. Spaghetti pie is a little spaghetti, a little lasagna – but all good.
This meal is pretty easy to put together – but even better to do as a freezer meal to have at the ready for a quick dinner. The noodles are mixed with cheese and herbs, layered with a cottage cheese and cheese mix, then topped with a meat sauce and mozzarella cheese. This time I used bigger containers as our family is getting older, the kids are eating more and we have fewer leftovers. We like leftovers in our house – meals ready-made lunches and easy night dinners.
To make 6 larger pies, I tripled this recipe – but you can easily make it as written and use a 9 x 13 pan to make it. I would try the freezing idea, but I’m crazy efficient like that… or just crazy.

Spaghetti Pie
What you need!
4 ounces dried spaghetti
1 tablespoon butter or margarine
1 egg, beaten
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 teaspoon dried basil
8 ounces ground beef or bulk Italian sausage
1/2 cup chopped onion (1 medium)
1/2 cup chopped green sweet pepper
1 clove garlic, minced
1 8-ounce can tomato sauce
1 12-ounce can diced tomatoes
1 teaspoon dried oregano, crushed
1 teaspoon dried basil
Nonstick cooking spray
1 cup low-fat cottage cheese, drained
1/2 cup shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese

Make it!
Cook spaghetti according to package directions. Drain.
Return spaghetti to warm saucepan. Stir butter into hot pasta until melted. Stir in egg, basil and Parmesan cheese; set aside.
Meanwhile, in a medium skillet cook ground beef, onion, sweet pepper, and garlic until meat is brown and onion is tender. Drain. Stir in, diced tomatoes, tomato sauce, basil and oregano; heat through.
Coat a casserole dish with nonstick cooking spray. Press spaghetti mixture onto bottom and up sides of pie plate, forming a crust. Spread cottage cheese on the top and up the sides of pasta crust. Spread meat mixture over cottage cheese. Sprinkle with shredded mozzarella cheese.
Bake in a 350 degree F oven for 20 to 25 minutes or until bubbly and heated through. To serve, cut into wedges.

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