Dinners your kids will love: Spaghetti pie for under $15

When you're a parent, pasta appears on the dinner menu all too often -- and at least twice a week. For those nights when the kids are clamoring for more tasty noodles and you're fresh out of ideas, try a fast and fun version of spaghetti and meat sauce from Chef Antonio Frontera, author of Chicken Soup for the Soul: Kids in the Kitchen. The "pie" serves up to 6.

Is there anything as wonderfully weird as spaghetti? It starts out as yellow sticks so skinny that you can barely hold them. Then you plop those sticks in boiling water and, in a few minutes, you have something soft and smooth and yummy. That yummy stuff then gets mixed up with little round meatballs and goes swimming in bright red tomato sauce that gets all over your face and gives you a spicy red moustache.

Spaghetti Pie
6 ounce spaghetti
2 tablespoons margarine
1/3 cup Parmesan cheese
2 eggs, well beaten
1 cup cottage cheese
1 pound ground beef
1 8-ounce can tomato sauce
1/2 teaspoon dried basil
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 cup grated mozzarella cheese

Cook spaghetti as per package directions and drain. Place in a mixing bowl with margarine, Parmesan cheese, and eggs. Spoon into a greased 10-inch pie plate or pan to form crust.

Spread cottage cheese on pasta layer.

In a frying pan, cook ground beef until done. Add tomato sauce, basil and garlic powder. Pour over cottage cheese layer.

Bake at 350 degrees F. for 20 minutes, uncovered.

Sprinkle in grated mozzarella cheese. Return to oven for 5 minutes or until cheese melts.
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