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.

Egg and Bacon Spread

I have a partner and a daughter who hate bacon. Really, really, really hate bacon. Unfortunately for them, the rest of the family loves bacon. The good part and the bad part is pre-cooked bacon. The lack of bacon smell makes the haters happy. The lack of true bacon taste makes the rest of us somewhat sad.

In any case, bacon is good for more than torturing the bacon haters-for instance this spread. I cut the mayonnaise down to 3/4 of a cup and the horseradish by half-I tend to wonder if the original meant creamy horseradish-not the straight up stuff. As for the 4 teaspoons salt? Who knows what Miss Rita Burnley was thinking. I leave that out or just add a touch.

From Atlanta Cooks for Company, 1968

Egg and Bacon Spread

16 hard cooked eggs, minced
12 slices crisp bacon, crumbled
4 teaspoons horseradish
4 teaspoons onion, minced
4 teaspoons Worcestershire Sauce
1 cup Mayonnaise
4 teaspoons salt

Combine all ingredients and chill until serving time. Serve with choice of crackers, etc. Yield: 1 1/2 cups

Baked Apple Pancake

I have a weekend breakfast dilemma-one of my children absolutely hates eggs. The rest of us get tired of pancakes, waffles, and biscuits. This weekend we had a surplus of apples…a trip to the nursing home to visit my sister and take her fresh fruit was put off because of what is being called flamingohousebola or the horrid cold all the adults seem to have still, yet, again.

In addition, later this week our college girl will be coming home for a few days. She is the originator of Apple Pancakes in our home-from those months when she was in charge of menus, food budget and meal prep in high school. (Homeschooling Home Ec…)

We didn’t quite make it the Michelle way over the weekend, it still is roughly based on her recipe, but it turned out pretty darn good.

Baked Apple Pancake

1 T butter
3 eggs
1/4 c flour
1/2 c. milk
Cinnamon
4 apples, cored, cut into bite size chunks
1/4-1/2 cup brown sugar
1 tsp cinnamon
3 Tbsp butter

Preheat oven to 450. Spray pie plate with nonstick spray. Place 1 tablespoon butter in pie plate and place in oven until melted. Whisk flour, milk, eggs, and cinnamon together. Pour into pie plate. Bake 8 min at 450, reduce heat to 375-bake 8 more minutes. Meanwhile, saute apples in remaining butter, add brown sugar and cinnamon. Cook until softened. Remove pancake from oven…cut into 6 pieces, serve with apples on top. Serves 6.

In other news-on Retro-Food Reviews-I have a new post up You are Drop Dead Gorgeous

Egg Salad

We are fond of egg salad in this house. It varies from time to time. Lately I have been lazy and gone with the mayo, mustard, pickle relish combo that doesn’t really do anything for me.

This one though is perfect for something a bit different, especially for the olive lovers in your family. You can easily increase the amount for any number of eggs…though watch the salt when you increase the recipe. I salt to taste after I am done adding everything else.

Olive Egg Salad

Mix 2 finely chopped hard-boiled eggs, 2 tablespoons minced or finely chopped stuffed green olives, 1/2 teaspoon of salt, 1/2 teaspoon prepared mustard, 2 tablespoons mayonnaise and a little onion juice and finely cut celery.