BAKED OR WAFFLED: 6 STEPS TO AN UNFORGETTABLE SPAGHETTI PIE WITH COOPER® SHARP
A short quiz:
- Does spaghetti pie combine two comfort food traditions—pie and pasta—in one glorious baked dish?
- Is this the sort of recipe your best friend’s sweet Italian nonna might actually recognize?
- Is it a meal for Lululemon-clad carbophobes?
- Will there be any leftovers?
- Will it waffle?
(Answer key: yes, yes, no, no, yes.)
Baked spaghetti pie. Purportedly Neapolitan in origin, this spaghetti pie casserole has been adopted and adapted untold times over. We’ve seen Tex-Mex versions, green kale versions, and even soba noodle spaghetti pie recipes!
The takeaway here is this is one dish where you can totally make it yours. Start with leftover spaghetti or make it fresh. Switch to gluten-free pasta, add some wilted spinach or broccoli rabe, mix in some parsley and chives, or punch it up with even more Cooper® cheese.
It’s all good, especially when it’s Cooper®.
Mangia, mangia. (That’s Italian for “put on your eatin’ pants.”)
STEP 1: COOK THE SPAGHETTI
Bring a large pot of salted water to boil.
Add spaghetti to the boiling water and cook until not quite done. In pasta parlance, we’re looking for something short of al dente. That means “to the tooth” or basically pasta that still has a bite to it. Think tender but firm.
But why exactly are we undercooking the pasta? This is important because otherwise the pasta will keep cooking in the oven, and no one likes mushy pasta. (Except maybe five-year-olds. They have ruddy noxious palettes.)
Drain the pasta and give it a few minutes to cool off.
STEP 2: BUILD YOUR SPAGHETTI BASE
Now it’s time to build your base. This is the foundation on which your spaghetti pie will be built—the crust, if you will. It begins with milk, eggs and Cooper® cheese and ends with a big decision.
To start: Whisk together the eggs, milk, salt and pepper in a large bowl. Pour the egg and milk mixture over the spaghetti.
Using a box grater, shred 1 1/2 cups Cooper® Sharp. (At this point, you’ll probably want to sneak a pinch or two of cheese for taste testing. This is an important step. All the best chef training says you should taste as you go. So shred a little extra for the chef.)
Mix about half the cheese into the spaghetti. Mmm … cheesy spaghetti.
Are you excited?! We’re excited. Dinner is in sight!
STEP 3: CHOOSE YOUR OWN ADVENTURE
And this is where our recipe for spaghetti pie goes extra interactive. It’s decision time. One path leads to glory, the other to grandeur. Which will you choose? Consider this….
It’s your turn to host the monthly D&D session. You are torn between making a baked spaghetti pie or going rogue with the ingenious spaghetti pie waffles.
Ø You decide the traditional route is best because it’s a simple, hands-off cooking option and gives you more playing time before dinner. Skip to the end.
Ø What better time for venture and derring-do than RPG night with your friends? Waffles it is. Continue on.
STEP 4: IT’S TIME TO WAFFLE!
Preheat your waffle iron. Set it to medium, if it has a temperature gauge. But if not, no biggie. I mean, we’re waffling non-waffles here. This is not a precision endeavor.
Use a tongs to fill the waffle iron with the spaghetti mixture you made in Step 2 above. Be generous. Overfill it a little, even—as in enough, and then a bit more.
Close the lid, press down a little and wait for the magic to happen. (Be careful, of course, if your waffle iron is hot to the touch. I mean, hopefully you have a modern, safety waffle iron that allows you to safely press down on the top without risking a dermal burn. But if you’ve inherited your Great Aunt Agnes’s old metal waffle iron or have some other rapid-heat-conducting-thrift-store-special just, you know, watch your hands.)
STEP 5: PATIENCE PADAWAN
Your spaghetti is going to need about 5 minutes to crisp up in the waffle iron. Oh the wait! Interminable, I know. You could tee up a Quibi to distract yourself (fun!), clean up (less fun) or toss a salad (meh) while you’re on standby.
Cook until crispy and golden brown. Then open the waffle maker, top with extra cheese, and cook another 30 seconds until it’s melty.
STEP 6: REMOVE AND REPEAT
Remove spaghetti from the waffle iron—we recommend a spatula-tongs combo for this maneuver. (Is it a spatula or a flipper? Where do you sit on that eternal debate?)
Repeat steps 4 and 5 with the remaining spaghetti. And remember, better to overfill the waffle iron than to waffle a thin, sad layer of spaghetti.
STEP 7: BROIL IT (OR NOT)
Optionally, place your newly made spaghetti waffles on a baking pan and place under the boiler to crisp for a minute or so. Pay attention—broilers are the quick-cooking, fire-inducing tricksters of the kitchen and are decidedly NOT for the inattentive.
STEP 8: SERVE AND ENJOY
Fantastico! You’ve reached the final stage of this waffled spaghetti pie recipe. That is one good looking waffle if we do say so ourselves.
Serve with your tomato sauce of choice, homemade or jarred. Marinara is a classic option, but feel free to go all out with a homemade Bolognese or even a spicy arrabbiata.
BONUS STEP 9: BAKE IT INSTEAD
The spaghetti is ready. You’ve made your choice. If you’ve reached Step 9, you opted for the baked spaghetti pie recipe.
It’s the conventional option. It’s sensible. No time for oddball repurposing here. After all, you are not the kind of person who irons a grilled cheese sandwich are you?! No, no you are not. And you are not about to waffle anything but plain flour, eggs, and water. (That’s all pasta really is but … details. Long story short, we support your decision.)
A deep-dish pie pan will keep this whole thing feeling very pie-like. But if you don’t have one of those, a round casserole pan works. Or, as other spaghetti pie aficionados prefer, a springform pan wrapped in foil. Basically, any oven-safe dish you have in the 9 to 10-inch vicinity is going to work.
Press the pasta mixture into the pan.
Top with the remaining 3/4 cup Cooper® Sharp and roughly 2 cups of your preferred pasta sauce, jarred or homemade.
Now it’s time for a chef time-out. This is the part of cooking where you’re not actually cooking. Put your feet up. Read a book. If your family wants your attention you can still rightfully say, “I’m making dinner.”
Just, you know, put the dish in the oven first.
Bake at 350°F for 25-30 minutes or until golden and melty.
After you take it out of the oven, give it another 10 minutes of resting time, if you can bear to wait. Your spaghetti pie will be piping, bubbly hot at this point. Letting it hang out for a few minutes gives the temperature time to slide back down to a non-mouth-scorching level.
Plus, when you give your spaghetti pie time to rest, the ingredients hang together better. You get a cleaner slice—more like pie and less like, well, spaghetti.
You’re going to go ahead and serve this just like a pie, cut into wedges and everything.
If you want to get playful and pretend you’re serving it with a scoop of ice cream à la mode, add a dollop of crème fraiche on top. Yeah, it’s a little restaurant-y, but you’re worth it.
6 DISHES TO SERVE WITH SPAGHETTI PIE
When it comes to spaghetti pie, we like it, we love it, we want more of it. But sadly, there’s only so much warm, cheesy, baked pasta goodness to go around. We’ve already set the serving size to generous here, but may we suggest a few additions to round out the meal? Maybe even something green, perhaps?
Consider these additions and transform your simple spaghetti pie into a full Italian feast with appetizers and sides:
Ever channel the Black Eyed Peas when contemplating an appetizer dish? Let’s get it started in here, Let’s get it started, ha. And the bass keeps runnin’ runnin’. No? Just us? Well then…
Serving antipasti—a selection of appetizers to awaken the palette—before the meal is a long-standing Italian tradition. Gather a selection of charcuterie, cheeses, fruits and olives and prepare your tummy for the feast to come.
And others say, “Hey, you! You think you know better than the folks at Olive Garden? Give the people what they want. Give them unlimited breadsticks.” It’s easy with this recipe that starts with packaged puff pastry.
Two words: Fancy. Pants.
The best way to take a simple dish and pretend it’s molto speciale? Stuff it in a tomato with some delicious Cooper® Sharp.
This side dish is just begging for candlelit dinner, scenes-from-an-Italian-restaurant style. We’re picturing a red checkered tablecloth, a candle melting over an old bottle of chianti, and O Sole Mio on the turntable.
Of course, if your dinner routine is a little more chocolate milk and Paw Patrol than chianti and Pavarotti, that works too. After all, kids can appreciate fancy, right?
Right. Maybe your kids.
Garlic bread. We’ve got your garlic bread here. Only smaller. And toastier. And (dare we say it?), tastier. We said it.
And we have a vegetable. Throw your mother a bone, for goodness sake, and eat something green. The classic wedge salad is elegant in its simplicity. Or maybe it’s just efficient.
Either way, it’s crunchy and refreshing—the perfect fresh foil to a decadent baked pasta like spaghetti pie.
risotto balls and make that “arancini.” We’ve got a theme going here, people. These small, Sicilian rice-and-cheese-filled bundles are little packages of deliciousness and love.
Now, pasta for the main course with a side of deep-fried rice? Some might say that a double carbohydrate dinner is a little much. But the people saying that probably aren’t reading this post anyway.
LET’S SPAGHETTI PIE WHILE THE GETTING IS GOOD
Mama mia, molto bene. You’ve done it! You’ve conquered the Cooper® Spaghetti Pie recipe.
Spaghetti pie is a pretty good riff on the classic tangle of noodles, is it not? It’s like spaghetti, but 35-40% better. (Because spaghetti is already pretty great.)
It’s kinda like Big Bang Theory after Amy Farrah Fowler joined the show, Cheers after Woody, Curb Your Enthusiasm after Leon. Sometimes good things can be even better.