Introduction: Fridge Cleaner Spaghetti Pie
It's almost dinner time and you realize you have no idea what you are going to cook. What do you do? Clean out the fridge!
The basic recipe for this pie would be:
4 oz spaghetti (dry weight)
1/2 pound of ground meat or other suitable filling
1 cup of sauce/tomatoes/veggies
1/2 cup of shredded cheese
1/2-3/4 cup sour cream
The actual ingredients, of course, depend on exactly what you have in your fridge.
You will also need:
A 9" pie plate or cake pan
A pot to cook the spaghetti
A pan to cook the veggies/tomato sauce
A large mixing bowl
Spoons and measuring cups
Cutting board and knife
Whatever herbs and spices you would like add
Step 1: What I Found in My Fridge
Items I found in my fridge to use in this recipe included:
-Approx. 1/2 pound of left over meat and tomato sauce mixture (from "sloppy joe's" made a couple of days before)
-Half a yellow bell pepper
-Half a zucchini
-About 1/4 of a red onion
-A handful of slightly wilted spinach
-Some wrinkled grape tomatoes and one large tomato
-A bunch of not so fresh parsley
-A piece of cheddar cheese that was only slightly dried out
-Half a container of sour cream
-A package of turkey bacon
Step 2: Getting Started
First, I preheated the oven to 375 F.
Next I put a large pot of salted water on to boil, dropped the spaghetti in and cooked it according to the package directions, about 10 minutes.
While the spaghetti was cooking, I finely chopped the onion and yellow pepper and sautéd it in some olive oil until softened, about 5 minutes. I then added the grape tomatoes, sliced in half, and let them heat through for a few minutes.
Next, I gave the wilted spinach and not-so-fresh parsley a quick chop and threw it in, along with the zucchini, which I grated. (Chopped zucchini works just as well. I have to grate it in order to hide it from someone who thinks he doesn't like zucchini even though he eats it all the time and never notices.)
Last, I added in the meat mixture (which also had parsley and spinach in it) to let it heat through.
Step 3: Making the "Crust"
I trimmed the edges off of my chunk of cheddar and discarded them because they were a little dried out (and possibly a little mouldy) and grated up what was left- which just happened to be exactly 1 cup.
I mixed half of the cheese with 1 egg and about 1/2 a cup of sour cream then tossed the spaghetti in the mixture.
My deep dish pie pans are packed away somewhere at the back of a large cupboard that I really didn't feel like cleaning out to find them, so I spread the spaghetti evenly in a 10 inch round cake pan and pressed it up the sides a little. Then I sprinkled the remaining cheese on top of it.
Step 4: Topping It Off
Next, I poured my veggie and meat mixture over the spaghetti "crust" and pressed it down a little and smoothed out the top. I sliced up the one large tomato and arranged the slices around the edge and sprinkled a little chopped turkey bacon over top of everything.
To finish it off, in proper Pi/e Day style, I used some strips of turkey bacon to make the symbol for Pi in the center.
Then I put it in the oven and baked it for about 35-40 minutes.
Step 5: Meanwhile...
In my fridge, I also found:
-Half a bulb of fennel
-A package of snow peas
-Some green onions
First, I thinly sliced the fennel and rough chopped the green onion into large chunks.
I picked through the snow peas to find ones that were still good, snapped the ends and pulled the stringy bits off (don't forget to do this when you cook snow peas).
Then I got out my wok and stir fried everything in a little oil with some sea salt, cracked black pepper and finely chopped fresh garlic, and finished it off with a little squeeze of lemon juice.
Step 6: The Finished Product
The virdict? My fridge cleaner spaghetti pie was a huge hit. It didn't last long after it came out of the oven! I had to guard this piece while I was taking the picture.
Personally, I found it a little too bland and would add more spices if I made it again. And of course, more cheese! =) I also think one more egg would be good, to bind the spaghetti together a little better. But overall I have to say, this was a pretty tasty way to clean out the fridge!