Growing up Italian: More than a pie, It’s a Spaghetti Pie!


Wine and Food compliment each other, enhance each other. Sometimes they are opposite in taste (spicy / sweet) and that is ok, too. Like marriages or friendships, is often a fine balance that makes them work.

I recently started attending a wine pairing class, and met Sarah Tunnell. Yes! The Frugal Wine Gal from EDN is taking my same class. Sipping wine, and tasting food together, has inspired us to create a joint effort (very little effort, to tell you the truth) and co-write a piece.

This is the result of our first attempt. She is the Wine Gal, I’m the Food Dudette….what a hoot!

Julia Child said ” I love cooking with wine~I even put it in the food”

So do I! …and good wine I use. Possibly I like to drink the same wine I use in my dish, and viceversa. Life  is too short to drink cheap wine, and our food is only as good as the sum of its main ingredients. Even a simple plate of pasta, can become an experience on its own. In fact, imagine a regular pasta dish that goes to the “beauty parlor”….it  becomes a Spaghetti Pie!

DSCF2658 Meat Spaghetti Pie, a slice of Italy in your kitchen.

Something so good, one can’t stop eating. Something so beautiful, one can’t stop looking…guaranteed.

Now, the Spaghetti pie is not for your everyday meal. It’s reserved for special occasions, since it is quite time consuming to prepare.

Also, it’s versatile that it could be done with or without meat. Even the vegetarian version is quite impressive, and definitely, incredibly tasty. For this recipe I chose to use ground Lamb since I has some triumphant Sangiovese wine from Oregon. Yes, from Oregon~Remy Wines 2012 “Ciel du Cheval” Sangiovese, to be exact. This incredible wine, made right here in McMinnville won me over at the first sip. It seems to find its perfect pairing in this culinary cornerstone of the Italian Cuisine. It was born to accompany memorable gatherings.

image Sangiovese! Photo by Sarah Tunnell

MORE ON THIS WINE ON Wine Pairing with Rosa Mariotti

So, turn the volume up, get your favorite music blasting, invite some great friends over. Open a bottle of Sangiovese, and make the Spaghetti pie.

YOUR Big Night just got better!

[gn_box title=”Spaghetti Pie” color=”#3B5″]

Ingredients for a large pie for 8 people

2 lb Pasta. (Thin spaghetti or Angel Hair pasta)

3/4 lb of Grated Parmigiano cheese

1 stick of butter

1 lb of Tomato sauce ~ I use Mutti’s in a bottle of 700gr

2  lg bunches of fresh basil

1 lb of Fresh mozzarella cheese~ sliced about 1/2″ thick

About 4 eggplants~ sliced and fried

8 oz of breadcrumbs

EVOO, salt and pepper to taste

For the MEAT Sauce:

2 lb Ground Lamb

4 cloves of garlic

1 small onion

1/2 to 2/3 C Sangiovese Remy 2012 Ciel du Cheval


Butter a large round baking pan (10 to 12 “) with high sides. Sprinkle with breadcrumbs. Set aside.

Pre heat the oven to 375F.

Prepare the meat : In a medium saucepan, saute’ the diced onion and the minced garlic with 2 T olive oil and 2 T butter. When the onion starts to caramelize,add the ground lamb and brown the meat thoroughly. Deglaze with the wine. Let the wine evaporate, and set aside.

Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Salt it generously and cook the pasta very al dente, since the pasta will cook again in the oven.

(Al dente: the pasta should cook about 2 minutes less than what indicated in the package)

Drain the pasta and toss it with the tomato sauce, the remaining butter and the Parmigiano cheese. Spread the pasta onto a baking sheet to cool. Stir the noodle every so often to make sure they fully absorb the sauce and get coated.

Once the pasta has cooled enough you can handle it, start draping it around the pan, filling the bottom with it, leaving the excess to fall out of the pan, like in the picture below.

Spaghetti coat the pan and are ready to be “stuffed”

Now the fun begins!

Pour yourself another glass, and star layering the eggplants on the bottom of the pan coating the sides, too.

20141129_152746 Layers of goodness! Photo Courtesy of Kirk Koenig.

You might have extra eggplant slices, so pick the nicest and longest ones for this step. You can thank me later :)

Place the basil leaves over the eggplants, and then the sliced mozzarella.

Top with the meat.

Now, pressing lightly, fold the tips of the eggplant slices towards the center of the pie, like in the pictures below.

10930992_10203310676983181_2605188723035951685_n Crating a masterpiece? you betcha!

If you are making a VEGETARIAN Spaghetti pie, omit the meat step, and use some fresh cherry tomatoes instead.

Now, fold the hanging spaghetti over the eggplant and press firmly. Dust with breadcrumbs and dab with little pieces of butter.

Bake at 375F for an 45 min to an hour, covered with foil. After an hour, remove the foil and keep cooking until crisp for another 10 minutes.

Wait 10 minutes before unmolding.

Then, you should get something that resembles this:

DSCF2652 Hello Gorgeous!

If it does, pour yourself another glass of Sangiovese. You are now officially a step closer to Italianhood!

Wait until the pie cools a few more minutes before cutting into it.

Slice like you would do for a pie, top it with some more cheese and serve it sprinkled with some good EVOO.

Wasn’t this fun? I think so, too!

Until next time, Mangia and Ciao!

For more of Rosa’s recipes don’t forget to “Like” the “Growing up Italian” page on Facebook.

Hello all. I live in between two worlds (USA and Italy) but I'm really grounded. I believe it's a luxury to be able to pick and choose the best of both. I've been given that gift. I love my job; I believe in positive thinking, and dream of a better future for all. Until then, Mangia!

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