Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Spaghetti pie

This is the final month of hurricane season here but winter weather is just heating up (!) for most of the rest of the country. & so I am bringing you that we-got-no-power classic: Spaghetti Pie.

It had actually been a while, as in a decade, since I even thought about spaghetti pie, but my bookclub was reading My Latest Grievance & it takes place mostly, well pivotaly anyhow, during the blizzard of '78.

Ah the olden days. I remember Ella Grasso telling all the people to stay off the roads, including you poseur, workaholic junior high school teachers, & the trees completely covered in clear ice so you really could see the branches & bark, & the lovely power lines weighed down with snow, frozen to the street. Good times.

So if you have no power for days & days & days, & you have packed the contents of your refrigerator in the snow & you have access to open flame (preferably in the fireplace but any old hibachi will do) what can you eat? Why spaghetti pie, of course.

The ingredients are easy:

Cooked spaghetti. You can boil water over your fireplace if indeed you do not have any leftover in the fridge. Rigatoni also works. Or ziti. Macaroni is getting a little fussy, but I cannot think why it would not work, too.

A jar of supermarket spaghetti sauce. Ordinarily I would say jazz this up, but you may be all jazzed out after boiling spaghetti over an open fire. I once dated a guy who added mustard to the mix, but "shhh!" its a secret.

Grated cheese of some kind. Hard cheeses are easier to work with, but do not walk away from mozzarella, or anything that might crumble.

Whatever else is in the fridge that has not gone bad. I mean WHATEVER: cold cuts, zucchini, an eggroll, half a can of tuna, raisins, baby spinach, whatever so long as you avoid foods that would ordinarily be but have not yet been cooked (i.e. baked chicken good, raw chicken bad).

- Mix together your spaghetti, spaghetti sauce & grated cheese. Mix it well. Use your hands.

- Use most-but-not-all of this to cover the bottom & sides of your baking dish. Set aside what is left.

- Mix your whatever ingredients together. It helps if things are more or less bite sized. Chop the zucchini, tear up the cold cuts, really mince the onion unless you are OKay eating an entire chunk of onion in one bite.

- Fill the spaghetti-crust with the whatever.

- Spread the remaining spaghetti-mix over the top.

-You can bake this in an oven at 350 for 40 minutes. Or more. Or less. Or hotter. I would not recommend cooler. You can bake it in a dutch oven over your open flame. You can even use tin foil instead of a baking pan & make minis to bank around your fire. It does not take much, just enough to heat & melt so the spaghetti hangs together. Mostly.

Bon appetit.

//PS: I think it is good to LEARN while I BLOG. Today I learned there is no adverb form of the verb "to pivot". Ah language, how I love thee. So flexible.

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