This is one of my favorite pasta dishes. It’s baked, like a lasagne, but uses vermicelli, or another thin spaghetti like pasta, bound together with butter, eggs and parmesan.
It’s based on a recipe that I found 20+ years ago, and I have long forgotten from where. But over the years, I’ve tweaked this and that, and I have no idea how close this rendition is to the original. So, I make no claim to it’s originality, but I love it nonetheless.
Pasta Pie – serves 12 small eaters (like me) or 6 large (like teenagers)
- 5 Tbsp. butter, divided
- 1/2 large or 1 small onion, chopped
- 1/4 cup carrot, grated
- 4 cloves garlic, grated
- 1 can(28 ounces) or 1 quart(homemade) tomato puree or sauce
- 1 Tbsp. dried basil
- 2 cups whole milk or half and half
- 2 Tbsp. cornstarch
- 2 chicken breasts, cooked and shredded
- 3 zucchini, cooked and sliced or a bag of frozen planks
- 1 lb. vermicelli, thin spaghetti or angel hair pasta
- 1 1/2 cups parmesan cheese
- 3 eggs, beaten
For the sauce, sweat onion and carrot in 1 Tbsp. butter for 20 minutes until soft.
Add garlic, tomato puree and basil. Simmer for 1 hour.
Make a white sauce: combine milk and cornstarch. Bring to boil, stirring constantly, reduce to simmer, simmer for 5 minutes.
Combine tomato and white sauce. Set aside
Cook pasta in salted water until done, strain, and put in a large bowl. Toss with 3 Tbsp. butter and 1 cup of parmesan cheese. Allow to cool slightly before adding beaten eggs. Toss quickly, we are not looking for scrambled eggs here.
Grease 9 x 12 baking dish with remaining Tbsp. of butter. Layer sauce, pasta, zucchini and chicken, twice. Finish with another layer of pasta, then sauce. Top with the rest of the parmesan.
Bake in a 350F oven for 1 hour.