Friday, April 24, 2015

Anna Sultana’s Spaghetti Pie #3

Ma served Spaghetti Pie a few times a month when I was growing up.
Spaghetti, as well as all types of pasta, is very kind to the budget.
Our Sundays weren’t Sundays if we hadn't eaten a plate of spaghetti as our first course.
And yet there was always quite a bit of leftover spaghetti - enough for Monday’s dinner.

Ma also always had eggs in the fridge.
During the fifties, no one worried about cholesterol.
Eggs are an economical source of protein.
On Mondays Ma would use a half dozen or so to make a pie.
Ma always added bits of leftovers to the pie to give us a little variety.

Spaghetti Pie is a delicious, easy recipe and there are so many ways to prepare it.

I posted Ma’s recipe for Froġa tat-Tarja - Spaghetti Pie, Maltese Style - a couple of years ago.
I also posted a variation of Ma’s Spaghetti Pie, along with a recipe for her Pasta with Butter and Ricotta, a few months after that.
About that time I also posted the recipe for Carmela Soprano's Spaghetti Pie.
Yes, the Sopranos enjoyed Spaghetti Pie.
Even if money is no object, or the ingredients just ‘fell off a truck’, Spaghetti Pie is a treat everyone enjoys.

A recipe that uses similar ingredients is Ma’s Spaghetti alla Carbonara.
Bacon, onion, cheese and spaghetti… what more do you need.

Hint:

Vermicelli is the traditional pasta used for this dish.
But, if you have spaghetti or spaghettini, no problem.
Just adjust the boiling time for the pasta.

Ma would cook the spaghetti pie until the underside was golden, about 6 minutes. 
The she would place an inverted large platter over the skillet and, with oven mitts, firmly grab both the platter and the skillet, and carefully flip them over. 
Then she would place the platter on the counter and lift the skillet off the spaghetti, place the skillet back on the stove and add 2 Tablespoons olive oil to the skillet.
Then she would slide the spaghetti from the platter (raw side down) back into the pan to cook the other side.

While the pie was cooking she would wash the large platter.
After the pie had cooked 8 minutes she would take the clean platter, invert it over the skillet and, with oven mitts, firmly grab both the platter and the skillet, and carefully turn them over.
Then she would serve the Spaghetti Pie. 

Yes, that is a bit tricky.
You can also cut into the pie with a heat-proof spatula and turn over the sections.

I posted my easier method.
Forgive me, Ma.


                        Spaghetti Pie

Serves 2 to 6

In a large pot place
4 quarts water
salt to taste
Bring to a boil.
Add
400 grams (about 1 pound) spaghetti or vermicelli
Cook, stirring frequently, until the pasta is al dente.
Drain the pasta well and place it in a large bowl.

WHILE THE SPAGHETTI IS COOKING:
Heat in 10-inch oven proof skillet over medium heat
1 teaspoon olive oil
Add
4 rashers bacon, diced
Cook until browned.
Add 
1 1/2 Cups onion, chopped 
Cook, stirring occasionally, until golden, 10 to 12 minutes. 
Add 
1 teaspoon garlic, minced
Cook about 1 minute. 
Pour the mixture into a small bowl. 

In a large bowl, lightly beat
6 large eggs
1 Cup ricotta
1/2 Cup milk
Stir in the onions, along with
3/4 Cup Parmesan cheese, grated 
1 Tablespoons parsley, dried
1 teaspoon basil (optional)
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon pepper
Add the cooked pasta.
Mix the ingredients well.

Heat in the same skillet over medium heat
2 Tablespoons olive oil
Pour the pasta mixture into the skillet.
Cover the pan and cook 10 minutes.
The eggs should be almost set and the bottom lightly browned.

Preheat the broiler while the pie is cooking.
Place the skillet under the broiler to brown the top (about 3 to 5 minutes).
Slide a spatula under the pie to loosen it.
Tilt the pan near a serving platter and slip the pie onto the platter.
Cut into wedges.

Serve hot, cold or at room temperature with a sprinkling of parsley.

2 comments:

  1. There sure is! This is what Wikipedia says about it:

    When Auckland was founded as a colonial town a tree stood near the summit which gave the hill its English name. Two accounts identify it as a pōhutukawa (Metrosideros excelsa). This tree was cut down by a white settler in 1852, in an act of vandalism in one account,[citation needed] or for firewood in another.[3] It seems likely this was a different tree from the tōtara (Podocarpus totara) which, as a sacred tree, had given the hill one of its Maori names. A radiata pine was planted in the 1870s to replace the previous tōtara .[22] John Logan Campbell repeatedly tried to grow native trees on the hill's summit, but the trees failed to survive - with only two pines, originally part of a shelter belt for the native trees, surviving for long. However, in 1960, one of the two was felled in another attack,[3] possibly for firewood.[citation needed]
    Crater of One Tree Hill, with Auckland city in the background.

    The remaining tree was later attacked twice with chainsaws by Māori activists to draw attention to injustices they believed the New Zealand government had inflicted upon Māori (as the tree was not a native New Zealand species, they considered it an appropriate target). The first attack happened on 28 October 1994, the anniversary of the 1835 Declaration of Independence.[23] A second attack on 5 October 2000[24] left the tree unable to recover even though substantial efforts were made, and so it was removed on 26 October due to the risk of it collapsing.[3] The chainsaw used in the first attack was later placed on sale on popular New Zealand auction site, TradeMe in 2007,[25] but later withdrawn by the website after complaints and a poll of users. It was later listed on eBay.[26]

    Partly due to uncertainty as to what species of tree should be replanted (a new pine or a tree native to New Zealand), the summit stands empty at the moment, except for the obelisk. A new nickname, "None Tree Hill", soon became popular. Plans are ongoing to plant a grove of pōhutukawa and totara trees at the summit, but concerns by local iwi over Treaty of Waitangi claims have so far prevented any actual planting,[27] though the Auckland Council is growing a number of seedlings in the hopes of reinstating a grove as soon as the treaty claims are settled.[28] The Council has removed repeated illegal plantings, usually of pōhutukawa, while waiting for the Treaty claims to be settled.[29]

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  2. Hi, Carole,
    Thank you for the history lesson!! I LOVE wikipedia!!
    Hope they come to some kind of peaceful agreement over whether or not to plant on the hill top.
    I think One Tree Hill sounds like a more interesting story than None Tree Hill ;-)

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