You know how some meals are kinda' "prissy" 3 or 4 course sit down, take a break in between each course for more wine kinda' events? Well this isn't one of them.
Big Guy insisted it's a "real man's meal" in that it's a slap it on the plate and get 'er done kinda' deal. It rather fits the "man's meal description" because it's a pain in the butt to put together but don't tell him I said that OK?
From our friends at Better Homes and Gardens it is a take on the spaghetti pie we all know and love but with a few additions...and meatballs of course. I used the leftovers I'd frozen when I whipped up the meatball stroganoff (just the meatballs sans the sauce of course) along with ricotta cheese, TJ's Italian cheese blend instead of plain mozzarella, Prego Tomato Basil sauce and of course I had to ramp up the spices somewhat with the addition of red pepper flakes, Italian seasoning, garlic powder, salt and coarse ground black pepper to the ricotta layer that's next to the spaghetti/cheese crust.
It's really OK and it certainly looks impressive although unfortunately you can't see all the layers in the picture. Big Guy liked it a lot but I found the caramelized onions just didn't suit the dish, so next time I'll replace 'em with roasted red peppers and maybe some sauteed mushrooms ramped up with a touch of dry marsala or some chianti. Of course I'll also spend the time making my own marinara sauce and maybe throw in a bit of Italian sausage or pepperoni along with the meatballs. After all, what's wrong with a little excess flavor.
Oh the other thing - they made a big deal out of lining the springform pan with parchment or aluminum foil (I used foil) and it wasn't really necessary. It just made cutting the darn thing a challenge and if you've a good solid springform pan and spray it well with cooking spray you really don't need to bother. Slip a knife or large lifter between the pan bottom and the pasta crust and slide it onto a serving platter. It'll be a darn site easier than having to deal with the foil.
Hit the link and head to BHG.com for the original recipe. I'll give you my version after I make it again to perfect it. You know who wants it on the menu again PDQ.
A year ago - Butternut Squash Risotto with Pancetta
Two year's ago - Blueberry Roly Poly Pudding