It’s my 44th trip around the sun this week, and while I’m more in-the-moment sensitive and emotional than retrospective, this year has me looking back. I’ve always had really great birthdays. I’m usually working, but that’s what made them so special. Employers, co-workers, employees, friends and my family always make the day incredible. Nothing over the top, Rick threw a surprise party for me one year and it aged him 10 years. Apparently I’m difficult to surprise… I’m always the surpriser – the organizer – the cheerleader for fun, it’s my role and pleasure, so any gesture made by others is cherished.
I love cookbooks, I don’t always cook from them, but I read them like books. I was thinking about pasta tonight for dinner (at 10am) – something simple, looked at my grandpa Harvey’s book shelf that houses my cookbooks (and liquor) and saw the Weiss Family Cookbook – “Slice of life – A tongue and cheek publication” and knew tonight was a spaghetti pie night. It’s one of my favs and spaghetti pie being made meant shenanigans, laughter, stories and family.
The Weiss’s were a second family to me growing up, and continue to be as an adult. My godmother, aunt and frequent life coach, Ann, plays a huge role in my life and the Weiss/Mahlstadt/Harvey family get togethers are what I have missed the most this past year. Years ago, the Weiss family put together a cookbook, it’s everything a family cookbook should be, and it motivates me to start my own cookbook.
Trips home from New York over the years were usually met with spaghetti pie from Ann, seven layer salad from mom, pie from David and scream laughing by the cousins. Where the cheese was sometimes thicker than the pasta and the “David pour” glass of wine was magically refilled. Cheers to my family, what a great start to the birthday week.
Spaghetti Pie (Ann Weiss – Adapted by Katie)
- 1 lb ground beef
- 1 lb italian sausage
- 2 pounds of spaghetti
- 1/2 stick melted butter
- 1/2 cup parmesan cheese
- 1 Tbsp garlic
- 24 oz. container cottage cheese
- 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
- 3 eggs
- Mozzarella cheese
- Favorite sauce
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 9 inch deep pot with cooking spray.
- In a large skillet, brown the ground beef and italian sausage over medium heat until no longer pink, approximately 10 minutes.
- Cook the pasta in a large pot of salted, boiling water for 6 to 7 minutes or until almost al dente. Drain and set aside.
- In a large bowl mix the melted butter with the warm pasta.
- Whisk together the cottage cheese, parmesan cheese, 1 cup of shredded mozzarella, eggs and parsley.
- Press the pasta mixture firmly in the bottom of your greased pan.
- Hopefully you have just MADE a quick pasta sauce, (sauteed onion and garlic in olive oil and butter, 2 small cans fire roasted tomatoes, 1 small can tomato sauce, salt and pepper, cook until thick), Add the drained sausage and beef to the red sauce and add to the top of the pasta mixture.
- Cover and bake for 30 minutes, remove from the oven, pile mozzarella cheese to the top and bake for an additional 15 minutes then broil for 3 minutes, remove from the oven and allow 30-45 minutes rest before cutting and serving.