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Spaghetti pie

By Krina Patel
Globe Correspondent / April 8, 2009

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Serves 6

Pasta al forno (baked pasta), like this spaghetti pie, can be served hot or at room temperature and it's sturdy enough to carry to a picnic. You can use other pasta shapes, if you like.

Olive oil (for the pan)
Salt, to taste
1/2 pound spaghetti
2 teaspoons olive oil
1/4 cup fresh or frozen peas
1 cup tomato sauce (see recipe)
3/4 cup chopped mixed cooked vegetables (carrots, broccoli florets, zucchini, fennel)
3 small spring bulb onions or scallions, chopped
1 clove garlic, finely chopped
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper
8 ounces fresh mozzarella, cut into cubes
1/4 cup black olives, coarsely chopped
3 eggs
1/2 cup whole milk
1/2 cup grated Parmesan
1. Set the oven at 375 degrees. Oil a 9-by-13-inch baking dish.

2. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the spaghetti and return to a boil, stirring occasionally. Lower the heat and simmer for 7 minutes or until the pasta is tender but still has some bite. Drain it into a colander. Return the pasta to the pot. Add the olive oil and toss well.

3. Bring a small saucepan of water to a boil. Add the peas. Cook frozen peas for 2 minutes, fresh peas for 3 minutes or until they are tender. Drain and rinse with cold water.

4. In a large mixing bowl combine the pasta, peas, tomato sauce, vegetables, spring onions or scallions, garlic, red pepper, mozzarella, and olives. Toss well. Transfer to the baking dish.

5. In the same bowl, whisk the eggs and milk. Pour the egg mixture over the pasta mixture. Sprinkle with Parmesan.

6. Bake the pasta for 35 minutes or until the egg mixture is set and the top browns. Remove from the oven and leave to cool. Serve warm or at room temperature, cut into rectangles.