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Pizza Pasta Pie

I know what you're thinking. Pizza pasta pie? How exactly does that work? Is it a pizza with pasta? Or a pie with pasta? Or a pasta with pizza? Or a pie with pizza inside of it?

It's actually none of those things. It's cooked pasta made into a pie crust, and then topped with a layer of ricotta cheese, a layer of meat sauce, and a sprinkling of mozzarella and Parmesan cheese. So, it basically looks like a pizza, and I'm guessing that's where it gets it's name from.

I found this recipe in my Eat More of What You Love cookbook, and though I don't usually like to try recipes from cookbooks, especially ones that don't have pictures to go along with them, I couldn't pass up something called pizza pasta pie. I mean, those are the three P's of palatable joy.

Plus, a quick glance at the ingredients told me that there was pasta, sauce, and cheese involved so that pretty much confirmed that I needed to make this as soon as possible.

Well ladies and gents, the results are in and this pasta pie that looks like a pizza is incredibly rich, hearty, and comforting. It tastes just like lasagna, which is obviously a great thing, especially because it's so much more easier to prepare. 
It's also very easy to adjust to your tastes. You could add more or less sauce, pasta, or cheese depending on what you like. And if you're preparing it for kids, you could sneak some veggies in. Or you could throw some veggies in for yourself to feel less guilty about all the carbs.

Or you could be like me and not care. 
Carbs are wonderful and I am going to enjoy this fantastic pie, and I am going to eat as many slices as I want and life is going to be great. It's a great mindset to have. You should try it.

Pizza Pasta Pie

Yield: One 9-inch pie
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6 ounces dry spaghetti
1 large egg, lightly beaten
1/4 cup, plus 2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese, divided
1/2 pound ground beef
1 and 1/2 cups marinara sauce
1/2 teaspoon oregano
1 cup ricotta cheese
3/4 cup shredded mozzarella cheese


Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly spray a 9-inch pie plate with cooking spray. Set aside.

Cook the spaghetti according to package directions, or to preference. Drain, rinse and shake well to remove excess water. Place in a large bowl and toss with egg and 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese. Press the spaghetti onto the bottom and up the sides of the pie plate to form the "crust".

In a non-stick skillet, cook ground beef over medium high heat for 5-7 minutes, or until browned. Add marinara sauce and oregano, and stir to combine. Cook for an additional 3-4 minutes, stirring frequently, then remove from heat.

Spoon ricotta cheese over the spaghetti "crust" and spread evenly. Spoon the meat sauce over the ricotta layer. Sprinkle with mozzarella and remaining Parmesan cheese.

Bake for 30 minutes or until fully heated through. Remove from oven and let stand for 10 minutes before serving.

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