Spaghetti Pie

from melskitchencafe.com

*Note: If you aren't a cottage cheese fan, ricotta makes a great substitution and believe it or not, so does sour cream in this dish. A deep dish pie plate is necessary here. If you only have a standard, shallow pie plate, increase the size of the baking dish (even if it means using a square or rectangle dish).

*Serves 6

INGREDIENTS:

12 ounces thin spaghetti or vermicelli noodles

1 pound lean ground beef or ground turkey

1 small white or yellow onion, diced

1 clove garlic, finely minced (or 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder)

1 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon black pepper

28-ounce can crushed tomatoes

16-ounces tomato sauce

1 teaspoon dried basil

1/2 teaspoon dried oregano

4 ounces light cream cheese, softened

1/2 cup lowfat cottage cheese

3/4 cup Parmesan cheese, divided

3/4 cup mozzarella cheese, divided

DIRECTIONS:

Lightly coat a deep 9 or 10-inch pie plate with cooking spray and set aside. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.

In a large pot of boiling, salted water, cook the noodles until al dente according to package directions. While the noodles boil, heat a large 12-inch skillet over medium-high heat and add the ground beef or turkey, breaking it into pieces with a wooden spoon. Add the onion, garlic, salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally and continuing to break up the meat, until the meat is cooked through, 5-7 minutes. Remove the skillet from the heat and drain the excess grease, if any. Return the skillet to medium heat and stir in the crushed tomatoes, tomato sauce, dried basil and oregano. Simmer the sauce over medium or medium-low heat for 10 minutes.

When the noodles are done cooking, drain and return to the pot. Immediately stir in the cream cheese and toss the noodles by lightly lifting them up and over with tongs until the cream cheese is mostly melted. Stir in the cottage cheese, 1/2 cup of the Parmesan cheese and 1/2 cup of the mozzarella cheese. Toss until the noodles are evenly coated. Stir in 2 cups of the red sauce. Keep the remainder of the red sauce warm on the stove.

Scrape the noodles into the prepared pie plate and using a flat spatula, press the noodles evenly into the dish so they are tightly pressed together and evenly flat across the top. Sprinkle the remaining 1/4 cup Parmesan and 1/4 cup mozzarella cheese across the top.

Bake the spaghetti pie for 20-22 minutes, until it is hot and bubbly and the cheese is golden on top. Let the dish rest for 10 minutes. Cut into slices and serve with remaining red sauce.