Spaghetti Zucchini Pie


Yet another recipe from No Whine With Dinner – I’m on a roll, what can I say.  Actually what happened was we’d originally planned on leftovers tonight, but then I couldn’t schedule the groceries to be delivered tomorrow morning like I wanted (note to self, just reserve the damn timeslot already) so I had to push everything for next week over one day, and then yesterday I was flipping through the book looking for the chicken stew for last night and I saw this recipe and was like “dude, I already have most of these things!” so I decided to add in another meal this week instead of trying to stretch the leftovers an extra day.

Anyway.

  • As with everything, I messed with the proportions and made a few other changes, so what’s below doesn’t match what’s in the book, should anyone be inspired to buy it based on my cooking.  (Ok, in the grand scheme of things I didn’t change all that much.  I doubled the zucchini, made my own pasta sauce, used fresh basil instead of dried.  And probably upped the cheese, though I couldn’t say by how much since I didn’t measure it.)8 oz (1/2 box) spaghetti, broken in half
  • 1 cup pasta sauce*
  • EVOO
  • 4 cloves minced garlic
  • 4 cups shredded zucchini (4-5 small or 2 large)
  • 1/4 cup fresh basil, minced
  • not quite a whole bag of shredded mozzarella cheese (recipe says 1 cup)
  • 2 oz chopped turkey pepperoni**
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 cup milk
  • grated parmesan

*my pasta sauce tonight was 1 28-oz can of crushed tomatoes minus the little bit I’d used the other night when I had no tomato paste, half a red onion (not chopped), 2 cloves garlic put through the press, salt, pepper, crushed red pepper flakes, Italian herb blend (Penzey’s), and some olive oil, simmered together until I needed it for the recipe.  I removed the onion before mixing it with the spaghetti.  If you are using a jarred pasta sauce, I’d recommend adding crushed red pepper flakes to the zucchini along with the garlic in step 2 below.

**If you can’t find turkey pepperoni, use regular pepperoni but microwave it on a plate between some paper towels for 30 seconds to degrease OR use it like you would bacon and saute it in the first step instead of using olive oil.

Preheat the oven to 375.  Spray a 2-qt casserole dish with cooking spray or lightly grease w/ olive oil.  Parcook the pasta, then drain and return to the pot.  (You want it just shy of al dente so that it can absorb more liquid when it bakes without getting mushy.)  Whisk together milk & eggs, set aside.

While the pasta is cooking, saute the zucchini in olive oil (or pepperoni grease, see note) until softened, then take off heat stir in pepperoni, garlic, and basil.  Mix this into the cooked pasta along with the tomato sauce and mozzarella cheese.

By the way, any pepperoni that you eat standing up while preparing this part of the dish contains no calories.  Scientific fact.

Pour everything into your prepared casserole dish, then pour milk/egg mixture on top.  You may have to jiggle the spaghetti with a wooden spoon to get the milk/eggs to soak through to the bottom of the dish, and you should stop pouring if it looks like your casserole is going to overflow.  In my case I was left with a good 1/2 cup of milk/egg that wouldn’t fit.  (Sadly, not enough to be worth keeping around for French toast tomorrow.  Also, I have no leftover baguette to French-toastify.)

Grate parmesan cheese on top, bake about 30 minutes or until golden browned and bubbly.  Wait 5 minutes before serving – it will set up as it cools.

Spaghetti Zucchini Pie

"My favorite part is the pepperoni! Uh...and the zucchini?"

Dylan Report: Very successful, though he didn’t eat too much due to a late HUGE lunch at the zoo earlier today.  Good to see that he’s developing a taste for spice – the kick from the red pepper flakes didn’t bother him at all.  I wouldn’t necessarily call the zucchini in here a “sneaky” vegetable – for one thing, it’s right there in the name of the dish – but it is incorporated in such a way that makes it very difficult for a small picky child to eat the “good” parts (spaghetti, cheese, pepperoni) without also eating zucchini and tomato sauce.

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  1. #1 by Megan the Insomnibaker on February 13, 2011 - 2:56 am

    “By the way, any pepperoni that you eat standing up while preparing this part of the dish contains no calories. Scientific fact.”

    It’s true– I read it on the internet. FACT.

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