Layered Pasta Ricotta Pie

This recipe is a pain. I will confess to this right up front. It makes for a lot of dirty dishes. It seems fussy. It matters not…it is one of my favorites.

You see…this is a completely wonderful dish to serve to company or to take to a friend with a new baby. Put it in a heart-shaped springform pan-you have a Valentine’s Day to remember.

It comes from a grocery store checkout cookbooklet I bought in the early 90s that is all pies. The cover is missing. No decent information on the publisher at all. I could make guesses based on the products pimped in it…but it is irrelevant really. It isn’t  retro but this recipe makes people swoon.

Please REALLY read all the directions first and as you go along. Otherwise you will end up with some missing egg whites or cheese or generally going “huh?”
Pasta Ricotta Pie Recipe

Layered Pasta Ricotta Pie

Makes 6 to 8 servings ( I feel like it makes a bit more than that-but I tend to serve with sides)

1/4 (1lb package) Creamette Vermicelli (I tend to use about 1/2 of the package and you can use whatever brand you like)
1/3 cup finely chopped onion
4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 tablespoon olive or vegetable oil
1 cup grated fresh Romano cheese (Yes, I tend to use Parmesan)
3 eggs
1 15 or 16 oz container ricotta cheese
1 10 oz package frozen chopped spinach, thawed and well drained. (I mean it, WELL DRAINED. Press it once it is thawed.)
1/2 tsp salt
1 26 oz jar Classico Di Sicilia Ripe Olives and Mushrooms Pasta Sauce (or any chunky pasta sauce with olive and mushrooms)

Preheat oven to 350. Break vermicelli into thirds; cook according to package directions. Drain. Meanwhile, in large skillet, cook onion and garlic in oil until tender; remove from heat. Add cooked vermicelli, 1/2 cup Romano cheese and 1 egg; mix well. Press into well-greased 9-inch springform pan. Combine 2 egg yolks, ricotta, spinach, salt and remaining 1/2 cup Romano cheese. Spread over pasta layer. In small mixer bowl, beat 2 egg whites until stiff but not dry; fold into 1 1/2 cups pasta sauce. Pour over spinach mixture. Bake 50 to 60 minutes or until set; let stand 10 minutes. Heat remaining pasta sauce. Serve with pie. Garnish as desired. Refrigerate leftovers. This reheats well.

Blue Cheese Fluff

On the menu for today, also from the 1959 Better Homes and Gardens cookbook: Blue Cheese Fluff. Picture of creepy elf/Pinocchio holding pretzels on his nose from book coming. Also-in comments-please share your ideas for using up a 10 lb wheel of Blue Cheese.

Soften 2 3 oz packages cream cheese. Add 1/2 cup crumbled blue cheese, 1/4 teaspoon garlic salt and a tablespoon milk. Blend. Mound in serving bowl. Sprinkle with parsley.

Cheese Ball

We are having an entirely entertaining week here. Ok, not entirely…the house is a mess, work is crazy, technology is failing. Other than that though, the entertainment factor of this week is high!

So what better to serve on the blog than a Cheese Ball recipe from a Junior League of Montclair cookbook titled “Entirely Entertaining” from 1968? We are nutty enough in this family without the pecans, so generally skip them. I am all about simplicity and go with the crock packing method as well. Ok, and my cheese balls/cheese logs always end up looking distorted/defective-anyone have any tips there?

Nice served with some good crackers. Our current favorite: Wheat Thins Fiber Selects 5 grain or 7 grain-whatever they are–not the veggie ones, though I hear the veggie ones are tasty too.

Cheese Ball

8 oz package cream cheese
1/4 lb Bleu cheese
1/4 lb sharp cheddar cheese, grated
1 small onion, minced
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1/2 cup pecans, chopped
1/2 cup chopped parsley

Mix all ingredients except the parsley. Roll into a ball and roll ball in parsley. Chill. (Note: This may also be packed in a crock without the parsley.)

Cheese Roll

As you can see by the quantities, this makes quite the cheese roll. However, it is easy to halve and such a yummy retro appetizer. Nini made this often as did my mother for all nature of parties. Serve with crackers, bread, spoon (ok, just kidding about the spoon, but I do like it a lot)

Cheese Roll

1 lb blue cheese
1 lb Roquefort
1/2 lb Philadelphia Cream Cheese
Horseradish (lots)
Onion juice

Heat in double boiler over medium heat until cheese is melted and ingredients are blended. Let harden in ice box. Roll in paprika on waxed paper.

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