A bowl of spaghetti, a crustless pizza, and a savoury quiche, all in one hearty dish!
We are a pasta lovin’ family. No matter when I asked our kids what they wanted for dinner when they were growing up, the answer was always loudly and emphatically ‘Noodles!’, and that meant noodles in any form, and with any kind of sauce or topping, or turned into any kind of dish. Their favourite dessert after a pasta dinner was another helping of warm pasta heaped onto their plate, dotted with melting butter and sprinkled liberally with sugar. They always left the table with smiles on their faces after scarfing that down.
And then, one after another, my children and husband were diagnosed with different levels of gluten intolerance, and one with celiac disease.
We have since gone through many different kinds of gluten-free pasta in our hunt to fulfill our insatiable pasta longings – some brands turned to pots of porridgy-looking mush if you cooked them a mere second too long, some held up a bit longer but stuck together in one large clump if you looked away while they were cooling, and others held their shape reasonably well but looked like they’d been cooked in dirty grey dishwater.
The discovery of the lovely line of Catelli gluten free pastas changed all that. When one of our university student daughters came home the other day and had a taste, she said, That’s not gluten free pasta, is it, mom? It looks too normal. She didn’t quite believe me when I told her it was. I love that it’s made with a unique blend of non GMO white rice, brown rice, corn, and quinoa, and is produced in a dedicated gluten-free facility. (It’s certified by the Canadian Celiac Association.) And we all love its taste and texture.
Pizza-ghetti pie is what you get when you cross a bowl of spaghetti smothered in a zesty sauce, a deluxe pizza loaded with tons of savoury toppings, and a creamy, eggy, crustless quiche, all melded together in one hearty, cheesy, gluten-free wedge.
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Kitchen Frau Notes: Of course, this Crustless Pizza-ghetti Pie can just as easily be made with regular, non gluten-free pasta.
The list of ingredients looks long, but don’t let that scare you, it’s all quite quick and straightforward to put together – much easier than making a lasagna.
You can also layer these ingredients in a 9 x 13 inch pan and serve it in squares like a lasagna.
Feel free to adapt ingredients to your family’s tastes and whatever you have in the fridge. Don’t like green pepper? Use red or yellow. Or substitute it with a handful of chopped broccoli, green beans, or shredded carrot. Use chopped marinated artichoke hearts instead of either the sun-dried tomatoes or olives, or omit them if you don’t like them.
Use a different shape of leftover pasta, or use pepperoni or ham instead of salami. If your family’s favourite pizza is ham and pineapple, use that instead (using canned pineapple). Use milk instead of cream, or use a different cheese. Whatever goes on pizza can go into this pie!
Deluxe Crustless Pizza-ghetti Pie
- ½ of a 340gram box (170 grams / 6 oz.) of Catelli Gluten Free Spaghetti or regular spaghetti (about 2½ cups if using leftover cooked pasta)
- water for boiling the spaghetti
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 medium onion, diced
- 1 green pepper, in ½-inch/1cm dice
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 125 grams (4.5 oz) thinly sliced salami, cut in ½ inch/1cm dice (1 cup)
- 1 cup (85gms) coarsely chopped mushrooms
- ¼ cup (30gms) coarsely chopped sun-dried tomatoes
- ¼ cup (35gms) coarsely chopped black olives
- 3 teaspoons dried oregano, divided
- 1 teaspoon dried basil
- 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 6 large eggs
- ¼ cup (60ml) light cream
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon pepper
- 1 cup (240ml) tomato sauce
- 1 teaspoon cornstarch
- 2 cups (200gms) grated mozzarella cheese
- fresh basil for garnish, optional
Bring a large pot of water to boil, add the spaghetti and boil for 8 minutes, until just firm, stirring several times in the first couple minutes until the spaghetti strands are pliable and separate. Drain in a colander and rinse under cold running water until the draining water runs cool. Set aside. (If using leftover cooked spaghetti, rinse it in a colander to freshen it up, and let drain.)
Preheat the oven to 350°F. Grease a 10½ inch (27cm) quiche pan or 10 inch (25.5cm) deep dish pie pan.
While the water is boiling and the pasta is cooking, heat the oil in a large heavy bottomed saucepan over medium heat. Add the diced onion and green pepper and sauté about 5 minutes, until the onion starts to turn golden.
Add the minced garlic, diced salami, and chopped mushrooms. Cook for another 5 to 10 minutes, or until all the water has evaporated from the mushrooms and the salami is crisp at the edges of some of the pieces. Stir in the sun dried tomatoes, olives, 2 teaspoons of the oregano, and the cayenne. Cook 1 to 2 minutes longer. Remove 1 cup of the cooked vegetable mixture and set aside.
Pour the drained spaghetti into the prepared quiche pan and sprinkle with the cooked vegetable mixture. Using two forks, lightly lift and toss the spaghetti to distribute the vegetables and let them settle down amongst the pasta strands. Arrange the spaghetti evenly in the pan.
Break the eggs into a bowl, and add the cream, salt, and pepper. Whisk until smooth. Pour the beaten eggs over the spaghetti.
Whisk the tomato sauce with the cornstarch and remaining 1 teaspoon of oregano until smooth (use the same bowl the eggs were in). Pour this evenly over the spaghetti and egg mixture. Use a spatula to spread it gently to the edges of the pan.
Sprinkle with about half of the reserved sautéed vegetable mixture, then spread the shredded cheese over the top. Sprinkle with the remaining sautéed vegetables.
Bake for 35 to 40 minutes, until the cheese around the edges of the pan is bubbling and golden and the middle is slightly puffed up.
Let cool for 10 minutes in the pan before slicing into 8 wedges. Garnish with fresh basil leaves if desired.
Serves 4 to 6.
Disclaimer: The pasta for my experimentation and development of this dish was provided by Catelli. The recipe, content, and opinions are my own.
Bonus Opportunity for you, Dear Readers:
Catelli is hosting a Gluten Free Pastabilities Challenge for the public from May 4-31. Post your own original gluten free pasta recipe on Catelli’s Facebook page, and the three people whose recipes get selected and have the highest number of likes on their Facebook page will receive a year’s supply of gluten free pasta, courtesy of Catelli. Click here for a savings coupon for Catelli pasta:https://www.websaver.ca/en_ca/
Contest Results Update (July, 2015) – I won second place in the contest! I am so thrilled! See my post about the win here. And see the delicious recipes from all five winning contestants here.