The “Use What You Have, Spaghetti Crust, Pizza Pie”

Pizza Pie 1

Pizza Pie 1

The “Use What You Have, Spaghetti Crust, Pizza Pie”

So, yesterday, my husband and I were entertaining the idea of homemade pizza for dinner. I’ll tell you my idea of home made pizza at a later post… Well, after working all day, running 3 miles in the 110 degree heat, and a couple of glasses of wine at the end of the day…  the left over gumbo sounded like a better idea.  However, when I got up this morning, the thought of pizza was still running through my mind.   Only I was in the mood to get creative and not have to drive to the store (that’s always a plus in my book).  After a quick inventory of what I had in my fridge, I came up with this recipe…..  It’s one of those recipes that you could easily change out ANY of the ingredients for what you have on hand…  Here is my recipe!  Use it as a guideline to create your own pizza pie!!!

Preheat your oven to 375 degrees

For the “crust”:

Left over, cooked pasta. Mine happened to be spaghetti, so it was probably about 2/3 of a 1 lb. box

1 tsp anchovy paste

1 tsp basil paste

2 – 3 TBS olive oil

3 – 4  TBS chopped sundried tomatoes

1/4 cup chopped green onions

Chopped fresh herbs, I used parsley, basil, and oregano.  More Parsley and basil and a little less oregano.

1/2 cup or more grated parmesan cheese

Kosher salt and coarse ground pepper to taste

More olive oil if needed

For the filling:

Mozzarella cheese, sliced thin.  I probably have 2 large balls altogether

2 large fresh tomatoes, sliced thin

1/2 large onion, sliced thin

Fresh basil

Minced garlic

Olive oil

Kosher salt and Coarse ground black pepper

Salami, very thin sliced.  Mine was only about 2” long and was plenty.

Black olives

1 – pkg. Proscuitto, torn

More mozzarella cheese

Parmesan cheese

olive oil for drizzling

Here’s how I put it all together:

First prepare the crust:

Mix the anchovy paste and basil paste with the olive oil.  In a medium mixing bowl, coat this mixture with the pasta.  Toss in the remaining ingredients.  Be sure to turn it really good to make sure all of the ingredients are evenly distributed throughout the pasta.  Spray a 9 inch spring form pan with olive oil spray.  Press the pasta into the pan. I actually used a potato masher to press it in.  Press firm without “smashing” the pasta. 

Now Layer in the filling:

Layer 1/3 of the mozzarella on top of the “crust”

Add a layer of the thin sliced tomatoes, onions, garlic, and basil.

Drizzle this with some olive oil and give it a good sprinkle of salt and pepper.

Add the salami in a single layer.  Top this with the black olives.

Add another layer of the mozzarella cheese.

Next goes the remaining thin sliced tomatoes, onions, basil, and garlic drizzled with olive oil and sprinkled with salt and pepper.

Now add all of the proscuitto.

Top this with the remaining Mozzarella cheese.

Top this with a heavy amount of grated parmesan cheese and the last few thin sliced onions.  Gently press everything down into the pan with your hands.  Give it a heavy drizzle of olive oil.  Cover with tin foil.

Put a layer of tin foil on a baking sheet.

Wrap another layer of tin foil around the bottom of the spring form pan.  Place in the preheated oven and bake for an hour.  Remove the top covering of tin foil. Change the oven to broil and let the cheese get a nice golden color to it.  Take it out of the oven and let it rest for 15 – 20 minutes before removing it from the spring form pan.  Use a knife to detach the edges of the pie from the pan before you remove it.  Cut into desired wedge sizes eat it up!!!

Serve and Enjoy!!!

Pizza pie 2

Pizza pie 2

Incredible Pasta Salad

Incredible Pasta Salad

Incredible Pasta Salad

Incredible Pasta Salad 

 This pasta salad just can’t be beat!  Years ago, we had a little yogurt shop in town that also sold some lunch items.  They had the best pasta salad in the world!  At the time…I must not have known enough about cooking to try and create it at home.  I searched cook book after cook book trying to come up with something similar with no luck.  The little shop ended up changing owners and eventually closed.  That was over 20 years ago.  That pasta salad was so tasty that it’s goodness remained in the back of my mind after all of those years.  As I started to enjoy cooking and creating recipes I decided to take the memory of that salad and create my own kitchen.  Their salad did not have shrimp in it and that is completely optional.  I make this a lot on Fridays during Lent.

 Ingredients list:

1 –  13.25 box of rotini pasta cooked according to package directions

1 – 32 oz. jar of Boscoli olive salad, drained

1 – 14 oz. jar large artichoke hearts, quartered (NOT marinated)

1 – 15 ounce can of pitted black olives, chopped

1 – 10 ounce box of cherry or grape tomatoes, quartered

1 – bunch of green onions, chopped

1/4 cup – fresh basil, chopped

1/4 cup –  fresh parsley, chopped

1 TBS minced garlic

1 –  cup of freshly grated Parmesan cheese

Kosher salt to taste

Freshly ground black pepper to taste

Optional:  2 lbs cooked medium shrimp (recipe below)

Cook the pasta according to the package directions.  Set the pasta aside and allow to cool so that it doesn’t melt your Parmesan cheese.   Mix all ingredients in a large bowl.  Refrigerate until ready to serve.

 

Recipe for the shrimp:

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil.  Evenly spread the shrimp on the baking sheet.  Spray the shrimp with olive oil no stick.  Season the shrimp with salt, pepper, and a slight sprinkle of red pepper flakes.  When the oven is ready, cook the shrimp for exactly 10 minutes.  Let them cool and add them to the pasta salad.