Does your family have that one recipe that they always end up turning to in a dinner crunch, or when you just can’t think of what the heck to make for dinner? For our family, that is our spaghetti sauce (why I haven’t written a better post for this yet, I’m not sure… but be sure to keep your eyes peeled for it, it’s coming!). When DJ and I first started dating, he made me pasta one night, and I’m pretty sure that this pasta is what sealed the deal, and when I really fell in love. Blah, blah blah… you can read more about that here.
Last week, I posted a recipe for Homemade Spaghetti and Meatballs for National Spaghetti Day. After celebrating at home, I had a lot of extra spaghetti left. If you have been following Mom’s Bistro for a while, you know that I’m kind of obsessed with The Sopranos, and there was a recipe for Spaghetti Pie in one of The Sopranos cookbooks. The recipe in the cookbook calls for prosciutto and pancetta, and I can’t eat pork, so I used the recipe as more of a guide, and came up with a kid-friendly version for these mini spaghetti pies.
These mini spaghetti pies are super cute and really fun to eat. Your kids will love the fact that they get their very own spaghetti pie. Around here, we call individual-size foods or mini-sized foods ‘Anthony Size’, but you could even serve these as an appetizer at a party – just use the mini-cupcake tins instead!). It might seem like a long process to make, but you can prepare everything you need while the spaghetti cooks (if your not using leftover spaghetti), and the oven preheats.
Making these mini spaghetti pies is easy, and even if you have to cook the pasta, they are ready in 30 minutes. A perfect weeknight meal that everyone will love.
Yields: 18 cupcake-size mini spaghetti pies (or one deep pie plate)
Gather your ingredients: (I made a double batch in the pictures)
For Spaghetti Crust:
1, 12 oz box spaghetti
1/4 cup parmesan cheese
1-2 cups crockpot spaghetti sauce – make it over the weekend, and keep it in your fridge or freezer, you’ll use it. Believe me!
For “Pot Cheese”:
1, 15oz ricotta cheese
2 cups mozzarella cheese, divided
1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
1 tbsp fresh basil, optional
salt and pepper
olive oil, to prepare muffin tins
Preheat your oven to 375 degrees.
In a large bowl, mix 1 1/2 cups mozzarella cheese, ricotta cheese, parmesan cheese, eggs, salt, pepper and basil.
Meanwhile, cook pasta according to package directions until al dente – about 10 minutes. Drain and toss with 1 tbsp olive oil, and set aside to cool. DO NOT RINSE YOUR PASTA!
Lightly coat 2 muffin tins with oil and set aside until spaghetti is cooled a little.
Once your spaghetti is cooled, grab a small bunch – it’s hard to say how much in a measurement, and place in your prepared muffin tin.
It’s hard to tell in the pictures, so I tried to take one up close, but when you add the spaghetti to your muffin tins, make a little well in the middle. This is where your filling will go.
Scoop 1-2 tbsp of pot cheese into each well that you created in the spaghetti.
Then top each mini spaghetti pie with a spoonful of crockpot spaghetti sauce.
Top the pies with shredded mozzarella cheese.
Bake for 10-15 minutes or until the cheese is bubbly and brown, and the noodles are firm. You can test this by running a butter knife along the side of the muffin tin, if it slides nice, and doesn’t feel mushy, your pies are ready.
Let cool 5 minutes.
Using an offset spatula or a butter knife, carefully remove mini spaghetti pies from muffin tins, and serve!
They tasted great reheated, so bring them for lunch or eat as a late night snack. These mini spaghetti pies are also great for a quick freezer meal – once cooled, throw your mini spaghetti pies on a sheet tray in a single layer and place in the freezer for 2-4 hours and then transfer to a labelled ziplock bag. Since they are small, they reheat in no time at all.
This was a great alternative to our regular spaghetti night, and Anthony absolutely loved that he had his very own pie, just like Daddy!