Today’s recipe is incredibly special. Spaghetti Pie is something we grew up eating (one of my mom’s specialties)… and then for some reason I stopped making it when I grew up and started cooking for my own family. Perhaps as a new wife I was too excited about trying out new recipes to pull out this old classic, I’m not sure, but last Wednesday was the first time I have made it since I was a teenager.
The reason my siblings and I decided to make Spaghetti Pie last Wednesday is because it was my dad’s favorite.
It still feels unreal to refer to him in the past tense. For those of you who didn’t catch this post, a little over two weeks ago my Dad was diagnosed with Stage 4, metastatic cancer. We were shocked and completely devastated when we heard the news. From that day on, each of my siblings and our spouses made daily treks to the hospital to stay with Dad, care for him, pray with him, and talk with his doctor every chance we had about what the treatment plan would be. We did that for 13 days. And for 13 days, we watched as each day brought more bad news, even after aggressive treatments. My dad fought harder than anyone ever could. He was SO brave. I will forever remember him as one of the most courageous men I know. But it was very apparent that God meant to take him home from this world, sooner than later.
We’ve been down this road before with our mom (although in her case, she battled cancer for seven years before passing away.) So being faced again with this terrifying disease, we knew no option other than to lean heavily on one another and on our good and gracious God. He cares about our heartaches, he hears our prayers, and most importantly… he heals us of our worst diseases. May my life message be to proclaim the healing power of our gracious God.
Though he may not heal our physical bodies every time we ask, he heals our spirits. He alone can rid us of pride, of deceit, of addiction. He alone can rescue us from the enslavement we find ourselves in when the Evil One makes us the target of his deadly attacks. I will forever praise God for rescuing my Dad from the enslavement of his sins, just as he has rescued me, and all of us. That is the healing that matters more than anything else in this life.
Speaking of healing, my siblings and I are still reeling from the whirlwind of this month’s events. Like I said before, we are still in complete shock, and to refer to Dad in the past tense seems so strange. We went home to Missouri this weekend for his memorial service and to go through his belongings before everything goes into an estate sale. What a surreal experience, sifting through papers in his desk, photos in his frames, and clothes in his closet. My sister said it was the hardest thing she’s ever done to leave his closet the day we came back to Arkansas because she knew it was the only place in the world she could still smell him. Life is really, really hard.
One of the things we decided to do the day after Dad died was to make and eat this Spaghetti Pie. My sister, Mallory, thought of the idea and suggested I take pictures for the Pretty/Hungry readers too.
It was healing to be together, good to remember him as we made one of his favorite meals, and nice to keep occupied with a simple, peaceful activity in the aftermath of such a devastating week.
I hope you enjoy this recipe. It is one that has been made with love in our family for many, many years. It contains traditional Italian flavors in the fun and unexpected presentation of a pie! (The spaghetti is combined with parmesan and butter to form a delicious crust for the meaty sauce and cheesy topping!)
These pictures are so special because you can see the hands of my sister, my sister in law, and my brother making the recipe. We thought it was important that each of us contribute to this dish, in honor of Dad.
I’m sending out love and thanks to each of you for the countless prayers and words of encouragement you’ve sent me this month. We lost Dad all too soon and there is nothing that can dull the sting of that. But it is such a precious comfort to me to feel surrounded by so much love at a time when the circumstances might otherwise make me feel very alone. Your words have been a gift.
Here is the printable recipe for Spaghetti Pie. Hope your family comes to love it as much as we do.
- 6 oz. spaghetti
- 2 Tbs. butter
- ⅓ c. grated Parmesan cheese
- 2 well-beaten eggs
- 1 c. cottage cheese (8 oz)
- 1 lb ground beef (or half beef, half sausage)
- ½ c. chopped onion
- ¼ c. chopped green pepper
- 1 C. fresh mushrooms
- 1 can diced tomatoes or 1 C. diced, fresh tomatoes
- 6 oz. can tomato paste
- 1 tsp sugar
- ½ tsp dried oregano
- ½ tsp garlic powder
- ½ tsp salt
- ½ c. shredded mozzarella cheese
- Wash and dice vegetables.
- Cook the spaghetti according to package directions; drain. (should be about 3 cups spaghetti)
- Stir butter into hot spaghetti. Stir in Parmesan cheese and eggs.
- Form spaghetti mixture into a “crust” in a buttered 10” pie plate.
- Spread cottage cheese over bottom of spaghetti crust.
- Preheat oven to 350.
- In a skillet, cook ground beef, onion, green pepper, and mushrooms until vegetables are tender and meat is browned. Drain off excess fat.
- Stir in undrained tomatoes, tomato paste, sugar, oregano, garlic powder, & salt; heat through.
- Pour meat mixture into spaghetti crust. Bake uncovered for 20 minutes.
- Sprinkle mozzarella cheese atop. Bake 5 mins. longer or till cheese melts.
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