Mexican Spaghetti Pie

I have been making different spaghetti pies for decades.  I am trying to remember if my mother made these.   I can’t imagine where I was introduced to these pasta gems.  I just know, they were part of our married lives as far back, as I remember.

Usually, these “pies” are predominantly cheddar and the crust, which is Parmesan in this version, was a yellow cheddar, in past versions.  However, I have made these, we like them but tonight’s dish is the hands down winner.  My husband, who is not exuberant in praise,  could not stop extolling the virtues of this comfort food.

This is not a pie by any sense of the word, other than there are three layers and  we form that bottom layer to go up the sides.  Our “pie” is filled with vegetables and sauce and topped with a cream cheese-Parmesan combination.  It is baked and the cheeses meld together to form a beautiful dish with a cheesy top, browned to perfection.

Mexican Spaghetti Pie

INGREDIENTS

Crust
7  ounces uncooked vermicelli or spaghetti
1 egg
1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese
Filling
8 ounces Ricotta cheese
1/2 cup chopped green bell pepper
1/2 cup chopped red bell pepper
1/4 cup chopped onion
1 jar (14 oz) Marinara sauce
Topping
1/4 cup light cream cheese  (I use whipped)
1 cup Mexican cheese. shredded  (Monterey Jack,  Cheddar and Asadiero)

DIRECTIONS

1 Cook and drain vermicelli as directed on package.

2 Meanwhile, heat oven to 350°F. Spray 9 1/2-inch glass deep-dish pie plate with cooking spray.

3 In large bowl, beat egg. Stir in Parmesan cheese. Add cooked vermicelli; toss to coat. Spoon mixture evenly into pie pan, pushing mixture up sides of pan to form crust.

4 Microwave vegetable for 2 – 3 minutes on high until translucent. Stir in pasta sauce. Spoon evenly into vermicelli-lined pie pan.

5 In small bowl, mix topping ingredients. Drop mixture by rounded teaspoons over filling.

6 Bake 25 to 30 minutes or until pie is thoroughly heated and crust is light golden brown. Let stand 10 minutes. To serve, cut into wedges.

Notes:

I bought the Mexican cheese in Costco in a large plastic bag.  It is a good combination and made  this dish.  The original recipe called for Mozzarella.

The original recipe called for chopped meat.  I replaced this with Ricotta cheese.

A good Meatless Monday recipe….

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