I love veganizing “old favorites” – who doesn’t? A few weeks ago I asked for suggestions on Facebook on what I should veganize next… and someone suggested Spaghetti Pie. This was interesting because although I’ve heard of spaghetti pie, I’ve never made it or eaten it, so I wasn’t really sure where to start. I thought it was just supposed to be a casserole- that you just throw everything into a dish and bake it, and although some recipes that I saw online did, in fact, advocate that method, many more showed a “pie” with a “crust” made out of spaghetti. Interesting! That method sounded more challenging and like it would create a more enjoyable finished product, so that’s the one I went with.
My first decision was what kind of binder to use with the pasta to create this so-called crust. I went with Chia seeds, my very first time using them. Holy Cow do they gel up! I was a little taken aback by the appearance of those dark little seeds all gelled together, but was totally happy with the finished product. (Yes, I knew the seeds were black before I added the water, I’m just more used to flax seeds and Ener-G). You can see from the picture that the crust didn’t stay totally solid, but I don’t think it’s supposed to. None of the none-vegan ones I looked at online appeared to either.
The filling was delicious! Uber-tasty tofu ricotta, a creamy mix with wonderful Italian seasonings, combined with Kale and some savory vegan Italian sausage. The entire dish was really fun, right down to the pasta-pie-crust. Total comfort food that I bet kids would love. One thing I know for sure is that these two (big) kids loved it!
- 1/2 portion of my Tofu Ricotta (minus the spinach)
- 2 tablespoons chia seeds
- 6 tablespoons water
- 8 oz (ish) spaghetti, cooked al dente and drained
- 1/2 bunch kale, chopped and water sauteed
- 1-2 vegan Italian sausage links (I used Field Roast), roughly chopped (almost crumbled)
- 1 3/4 cup spaghetti sauce
- Daiya mozzerella
- Prepare the tofu ricotta, and set aside.
- Mix chia seeds and water together in a cup or bowl, and let sit for about 5 minutes.
- Mix the chia concoction with the pasta, then press into a "pie crust" in a 9 in pie plate.
- Mix the tofu ricotta with the kale and sausage bits, then fill the center of the "pie crust" with the mixture.
- Pour all the sauce over the pie, then top with the Daiya.
- Cover with aluminum foil and bake at 350 degrees for about 30 minutes. Remove the foil and bake for another 5 minutes or so, until the Daiya is fully melted.
- Generally the chia seed mixture needs to sit for longer to gel, but by adding it earlier you let it gel with the pasta as well. If you miss the 5-minute mark you can still mix them together, it'll just take more elbow grease.