Spaghetti Pie


Spaghetti Pie. Another family meal from my Pennsylvania Italian-American restaurant days. It's basically a frittata with spaghetti in it, although that description might not do it justice. Pasta in a frittata is a welcomed carb addition to something that is usually lacking in substance. It's a pie due to its circular nature; it being baked in the sauté pan you began the process in. The spirit of the spaghetti pie, which I hope to articulate its importance precisely, lies within the Sunday buffet shifts I worked when I was 17. A buffet, mind you, not a brunch. There's a difference. This Sunday institution opened at 11Am every Sunday, just in time for church to let out. Chafing dishes filled with baked ziti, sausage and peppers, chicken marsala, a salad bar, desserts like fresh biscotti and rice pudding - this was an early lunch in 2002. Sunday was also a day we blew off steam in the kitchen. We were all pretty high (serving a buffet is something you can do with your eyes closed) and usually fed ourselves an amalgamation of leftover weekend ingredients. Enter spag pie. It feels like the perfect brunch item although it might actually be more of fusion of breakfast and dinner. It's stacked with leftover lunch meats, vegetables, and aromatics. It's like a lot of Americanized versions of Italian food - a casserole stuffed with so many great ingredients that it's hard to fuck up. The result, however, is anything but a bastardization of the cuisine. It's something else entirely. It's thrifty, yet not traditional in any way. Maybe that's the beating heart of American cuisine - stuff tired line cooks make on Sundays.

To make
Render off the chopped slices of bacon, then add onion and 1 clove of garlic. Sauté until aromatic, then add the peppers and deli meats. Continue to cook on medium heat until soft. Add a 1/2 pound of cooked spaghetti (dry is good - use De Cecco) and saute for a minute. Salt and pepper generously. Take the pan off the heat.

Whisk your ten eggs and add to the saute pan. The total mixture of eggs and "frittata filling" should reach near the top of the pan, yet not be close to overflowing. This recipe fills a 12 inch sauté pan. Place pockets of goat cheese evenly into the spaghetti pie. Cook for 20 minutes on 350 degrees.

Separately, I like to either oven roast or pan fry some thinly sliced Roma tomatoes to place on top. Adding tomatoes to the spaghetti pie, or any omelette for that matter, increases the acidity of the product and with it the chances of the pie or omelette breaking. For that reason, I like to add the tomatoes on top at the end with some chopped parsley. Your spaghetti pie should slide right out of the pan.

- Danny

10 eggs
2 red peppers, sliced thin
2 green peppers, sliced thin
1/2 white onion, diced
1 clove of garlic, sliced thin
5 slices bacon, chopped
2 Roma tomatoes
1/2 lb. of cooked spaghetti
deli meats (about 1 cup of capicola, salami, and prosciutto) - diced
goat cheese