Bob’s been after me to make him a spaghetti pie for coming up on three years now. It’s a very simple dish, and I would have gotten around to it sooner if it weren’t for the kids, the job, the house under construction, the personal melodrama. You know - the usual things that make it easy to put off whipping up a spaghetti pie on demand.
Like a lot of the really good Italian food I grew up eating, this is a terrific example of poverty cuisine: amazing food from the simplest, and often cheapest, ingredients. In this case, pasta, eggs, a bit of meat, and some cheese. As with most simple Italian dishes, the quality of ingredients is super important. While you could probably throw this together using Velveeta and cocktail weenies, it wouldn’t be nearly as good and not a bit Italian. So, since the recipe only calls for 4 ounces of meat, get the best quality you can find. Ditto for the cheese. And please, oh please, do not use that nasty sprinkle cheese in the green can. Real Pecorino Romano or Reggiano cheese has an incredible nutty, earthy, slightly tangy-sweet richness that makes the powdered imposter “parmesan” taste like an old sock.
You can serve this as an entrée, with a green salad. Or, as a great side dish with a roasted meat. And if you like cold pizza, wait till you try this.
Here’s the recipe Bob insists on, reprinted here with zero permission from the publisher.
8 large eggs
½ cup freshly grated Pecorino Romano or Parmigiano-Reggiano
Freshly ground pepper
1 lb spaghetti or bucatini, cooked al dente and drained
2 oz sliced Genoa salami or soppressata, chopped
2 oz sliced prosiutto or boiled ham, chopped
2 tbsp olive oil
4 oz provolone, chopped
In a large bowl, beat the eggs, grated cheese, and pepper to taste. You will not need salt, because the meats and cheeses are salty. Add the spaghetti, salami, and prosciutto to the bowl and toss well.
Heat the oil in a 10” nonstick skillet over medium heat. Pour half of the pasta into the skillet. Scatter the provolone on top. Pour on the remaining spaghetti mixture.
Turn the heat to medium-low. Cover the pan and cook 5 minutes. Slide a spatula under the pie and lift it gently around the edges to allow some of the uncooked eggs to slide underneath. Cover and cook 10 minutes, or until the eggs are almost set and the bottom is golden.
Meanwhile, preheat the broiler.
Place the skillet under the broiler to brown the top and finish cooking the eggs, about 3-5 minutes more.
Run a spatula under the pie to loosen it. Lift the handle of the pan and slip the pie out onto a serving platter. Cut into wedges. Serve warm, or at room temperature. Serves 8.
From Entertaining with the Sopranos Warner Books 2006