My son says that these words do not go together. Pie is sweet dessert and spaghetti is savory dinner, but he’s learned to trust me and ate it anyway.
I mentioned to my husband that I had been seeing a lot of baked pastas in springform pans lately and that I really wanted to try one. He reads about food almost as much as I do and came across this recipe on another blog (smittenkitten.com). The Romano and black pepper with a touch of greens sold me on the dish.
As always, it is always helpful to gather all of your ingredients before you get started. One of the things you will see in this picture is my pasta, I have recently take to making sure that I use good Italian pasta (if I’m not making it); the instructions are all in Italian, but the flavor is worth it. Of course certain shortcuts are fine – my market sells some of their cheeses shredded for the same per pound price.
Spaghetti Pie with Pecorino and Black Pepper
Entrées, Pastas, Tested and Approved!
Source Smittenkitchen.com – NOTE: I have only made minor edits to her recipe and the following is in large part her text – Enjoy!
- ½ pound broccoli rabe, chopped into few-inch segments (discard tough stems)
- 1 pound dried spaghetti
- 1½ cups milk
- 3 large eggs, lightly beaten
- 2 to 3 teaspoons ground black pepper
- 2 teaspoons coarse or kosher salt
- 8 ounces aged pecorino cheese, finely grated, divided
- 8 ounces fontina cheese, grated, divided
Heat oven to 425°F. Butter a 9-inch springform pan and this is very important, wrap the outside of the springform, focusing on the places where the ring meets the base, tightly in aluminum foil. Set aside.
Bring a large pot of well-salted water to a boil. Add the broccoli rabe to the pot and boil for 1 to 2 minutes, until it has some give. Fish it out with a large slotted spoon and drain it well. Set aside.
Add spaghetti to boiling water and cook until 2 minutes shy of done, so very al dente, as the spaghetti will continue cooking in the oven. Drain well and let cool slightly.
Wring all extra moisture out of the broccoli rabe and blot greens on paper towels to be extra careful. Mince rabe into very small bits. You’ll have about 1 cup total.
In a large bowl, whisk eggs and milk together with salt and pepper. Stir in all but 1/2 cup of each cheese and chopped rabe. Add spaghetti and toss to coat.
Pour into prepared springform and sprinkle remaining broccoli rabe and cheese on top. Bake for 50 to 55 minutes, until the cheese is melted and bubbling and a knife inserted into the center of the pie and turned slightly will not release any loose egg batter into the center. If the top of your pie browns too quickly before the center is set, cover it with foil for the remaining cooking time.
Turn on your oven’s broiler. Broil the pie a few inches from the heat for 2 to 3 minutes, until browned on top. Cut along springform ring to loosen, then remove ring. Run a spatula underneath the pie to loosen the base and slide onto a serving plate. Cut into wedges.
A few important cooking notes:
- You must wrap your springform tightly in foil or you and your oven floor will end up in a very bad mood.
- ONLY cook your pasta until it’s two minutes from done as it will continue cooking in the oven
- Remove every extra drop of moisture from the broccoli rabe or it will take very long to set.
- Good aged pecorino makes all the difference here in providing a salty, funky kick. You can use parmesan if it’s all you’ve got, but you might find that you need more salt if you do.