Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Spaghetti Pizza Bake

This casserole goes back to my childhood--magnificent pizza goodness on a "crust" of spaghetti noodles.
I'm not sure either of my parents actually like to cook. They both can cook, of course, but I wouldn't describe it as a hobby or interest, really, for either of them.  Eating is one thing.  Cooking is another.  Until I met Matt that was how I felt about things, too.

My parents got divorced when I was in 5th grade.  Since that put my dad in the position of cooking dinner a few nights a week he had to build up his culinary repertoire.  It is from that time period that I have my first memories of the heavenly concoction that is Spaghetti Pizza Bake.  I remember eating it at my dad's first (post-divorce) apartment.  I also remember lots of greenbean casserole topped with tatertots from that kitchen, too.  Those became his specialties--at least in my mind.
Last year these yummy youthful memories inspired me to ask him for the recipe.  We've successfully enjoyed it loads of times since.  It is just as good as I remember.  Like pizza and spaghetti had a beautiful and super tasty baby.  Of course, I am an admitted pizza freak so take that bias into account.

My dad got the recipe from one of those church and/or community cookbooks and it is as vague as all get-out.  Here, I'll show it to you.
I love all the splatters on this page of my dad's cookbook.  Testament to how tried-and-true this recipe is, I think!
The first time I attempted the recipe I pulled a box of spaghetti from the cupboard--16oz.  "Hmmm, do you think that'd be a big box then?  So, maybe half for a 'small' box?  I'll try that."  It makes me laugh a little, the vagueness.  Honestly though, it is pretty much perfect.  It is a totally flexible recipe.  Put however many pepperonis on it as strikes your fancy!  Use as much or little cheese as you like!  I mean, it is pizza for heavens sake!  Go nuts!
With all that for preamble, I present the veganized and slightly more detailed recipe.

Spaghetti Pizza Bake
8 ounces dried spaghetti
12 ounces pizza sauce/marinara
2 T Ener-G egg replacement powder
1 C water
Pizza toppings, as desired
    -sliced mushrooms
    -onions
    -black olives
    -bell peppers
    -veg pepperoni
    -TVP sausage
    -cheese


  • Cook spaghetti noodles according to the package instructions.  Drain and set aside.
  • Make "egg" foam by combining the Ener-G powder and the water in a small saucepan over medium-high.  Whisk until it starts to thicken, about two minutes.  It should fluff up to 1 1/2 times the original size.
  • Place the cooked noodles into a lightly greased casserole dish.  We use an oval shaped pan that is roughly 9 inches by 13 inches.  Keep in mind that the size of the pan with dictate the depth of the pizza.  Deep dish is fine.  Thin crust is also fine.
  • Pour the "egg" mixture over the noodles.  This will hold them together as the crust.  Try to spread it out evenly, which may take using a spatuala, ideally covering all the way around the edges of the pan.
  • Spread sauce over top of the noodles.
  • Add the various pizza toppings, including cheese.
  • Bake at 350 degrees F for about 30-35 minutes, or until the cheese is melted.
  • Let set for five minutes to firm up before serving. 

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