Most days when I wake up and I can always find something to laugh about. Today, not so much. My little dog, Rosie Ann Marie, left me a little "present" in the family room, not funny. The mister decided to have a late night snack and left all of the food out on the counter over night, not funny. The boy decided to do his laundry so he piled it in the laundry room and left for work, not funny. And to top it all off...my jeans don't fit, SO not funny. I cleaned up Rosie's gift, cleaned up the mister's mess, started on the boy's laundry and said a prayer of thanks for yoga pants, jeans -schmeans!
Crispy Spaghetti Pie could possibly be one of the reasons why my jeans don't fit...I enjoyed this so very much, one hand-held-wedge-at-a-time, dipping it into sauce, biting through the crispy outside into the creamy, chewy inside...served hot or room temperature, it's party food with or without the party.
I saw this in the New York Times Cooking section; they called it Pasta Tahdig. Tahdig usually refers to crispy/scorched rice, a Persian dish that sounds equally as good to me as Pasta Tahdig. But I renamed the NYT recipes because I'm never going to remember the word Tahdig, while I'll never forget Pie!! I also added eggs to this recipe, because it needed help sticking together - I didn't want to have to enjoy this with a fork, although I did, because it's so much more fun to just pick up a slice and eat it like pizza, without folding it, of course!
In the picture above I'm trying to show you the hot oil bubbling up around the sides of the pan because you need the sides of this pie to be crispy, too, so don't be afraid to add more oil to the pan, it all will get taken care with paper towels before you dig in!
It occurs to me that this pie would make the perfect picnic food! Picnics are fun - so is this pie. You'll notice I didn't do such a good job of sopping up the excess oil, I was too busy eating.
This pie holds it shape beautifully and you really don't need sauce because this is good enough to eat just as it is but dipping it into sauce, well, who could blame us? It just seemed right. Use whatever your favorite jarred sauce is, marinara works great, it doesn't take anything away from the pie itself. Spaghetti purists like the mister will not be amused, they'll want spaghetti served the usual way but even the mister, "Why can't a guy just get a regular plate of spaghetti?!!?" Yes, even the mister, after a good 5 minutes of winching, came around, they all will, because this is dang different and dang good.
Crispy Spaghetti Pie - Adapted From The New York Times Cooking, by Samin Nosrat
1 lb. regular or thin spaghetti
extra-virgin olive oil
1 1/2 cup finely grated Parmesan cheese
1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 jar of favorite marinara/spaghetti sauce for dipping, optional
Cook spaghetti according to package directions, just until al dente, firm to the bite. Drain but don't rinse. Return pasta to the pot. In a small bowl, combine eggs and red pepper flakes, beat with a fork. Pour egg mixture over hot pasta and using tongs, mix to incorporate eggs. Add Parmesan cheese and toss with tongs to mix well. In a large cast-iron skillet, add about 3 tablespoons olive oil and heat over medium heat until it is hot. Pile in the pasta and pat it down evenly into the pan. It will look like it won't fit but continue to push it down and it will condense as it cooks. Turn heat down to medium-low and continue cooking, adding a little oil as needed until you can see it gently bubbling up the sides of the pan, which will ensure that the edges are brown. Cook about 10 to 12 minutes and then using a spatula lift up the pie to see if it's browned and crispy enough. If not, give it more time. If it's evenly browned, carefully flip the pan out onto a plate then slide the pie back into the pan and cook the other side until crispy and browned, about another 10 minutes. When done, remove to a plate, wipe up any excess oil with a paper towel. Allow to cool for 10 minutes before slicing into wedges. Serve warm or at room temperature. Serves 6 to 8.