Deep Dish Spaghetti Pie
Have you ever gotten yourself into a cooking funk? You know what I mean, its the weeks when you either cook VERY little (“take-out it is”), OR simply rotate the same 5 or 6 recipes for weeks at a time.
There was a time that our dinners were almost clockwork because it just made it easy to have a plan and know what to expect. Meatless Monday (although every day is meatless for us), Taco Tuesday, Weenie Wednesday (tofu dogs of course), Tofu Thursday, Fun Friday (pizza, pancakes or going out), Spaghetti Saturday and Anything Goes Sunday (or some may call it “Smorgsaborg Sunday”). Kinda funny, right, especially for a food blogger, but it created a schedule that I really needed at that time. Then I started playing around with the days, keeping with the theme, but expanding on it. For instance, Taco Tuesday basically became our Mexican theme night which included enchiladas, fajita, taco casserole, and quesadillas. Weenie Wednesday turned into our easy food night, since we had the least time margin that day. It still included our tofu dogs, but sometimes we chopped them up in our veggie beans and made “beanie weenies”, other times, I simply made a soup or crock pot meal. Again, it was EASY foods. Spaghetti Saturday became our Pasta or Italian theme night and started incorporating all types of pastas and lasagna, gnocchi, soups, etc.
Then came the idea of Deep Dish Spaghetti Pie. Years ago, while living in Baltimore, I had actually eaten a slice of spaghetti pie at a local restaurant and thought it was so creative at the time. Basically cooked pasta, mixed with sauce and layered in a pie pan, then sliced and served. It was so good! However, I wanted to take that up a notch and create a deep dish version, with cake size servings and impress the family, like I had been all those years ago.
The good news is, you can impress your family or guests with very little work because not everyone has the time margin to slave in the kitchen all day long (although we all secretly want to make all those recipes we’ve “PINNED”, right?). If you have more time, go ahead and make your favorite pasta sauce and if you have very little time, grab that jar of organic sauce out of the pantry and use that instead. Both will turn out great. However, I will say that my favorite part of this recipe was using the tofu ricotta mixed into the pasta before baking, so if you are short on time, make this and use the jarred sauce because you don’t want to leave this out.
Have a gluten allergy? Use your favorite GF pasta but be sure to cook to al dente so it doesn’t get too mushy. Soy allergy? Opt out of the tofu ricotta and go with a traditional or cashew based ricotta. Vegan? Well, this is already vegan so your covered since it is dairy-free, egg-free & meat-free. Not Vegan? You won’t be missing the meat at all! Want it more saucy? Don’t wait until the end to top with sauce, add some in your tofu ricotta mixture and bake away, then add more on top when serving.
See, totally versatile and allergy-friendly! And isn’t it just so pretty too?
If you’re looking for another fun twist to eating spaghetti, check out Spaghetti-stuffed-peppers from the Vegetarian Mama. That’s on my list to try next.
Deep Dish Spaghetti Pie
Yield 10 -12
Impressing your guests with pasta couldn't be any easier then now with a serving of this Deep Dish Spaghetti Pie.
- 1 lb, spaghetti (wheat free or gluten free)
- 1 large jar pasta sauce
- olive oil
- bread crumbs (optional)
- Tofu Ricotta:
- 1 lb. Firm Tofu
- Juice of 1 lemon
- 1 minced garlic clove
- 2 TB. nutritional yeast
- 1/2 tsp. sea salt
- 1/2 tsp. black pepper
- 1 TB. dried basil
- 1 tsp. dried oregano
- Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Coat your round casserole dish with olive oil, sprinkle with bread crumbs if using and set aside.
- Make or heat your sauce and let simmer.
- Make your tofu ricotta.
- - In a small bowl, crumble tofu. Add lemon juice, garlic, nutritional yeast and spices. Use a potato masher to blend it all together until it resembles ricotta.
- Make pasta "al dente" (it'll still cook in the oven, so we don't want mushy noodles).
- Drain pasta but return to pot and stir in the tofu ricotta and at least 1 cup of pasta sauce.
- Place pasta mixture in your prepared casserole dish and top with additional bread crumbs. Cover with aluminum foil and bake 30 minutes. Remove foil and bake an extra 10 minutes.
- Remove from oven and let sit 5 out at least 5 minutes to allow for easier cutting.
- Serve each slice with a warm sauce drizzled on top and nutritional yeast (or parmesan type cheese)