Archive for Author Rebecca Coleman

Spaghetti Pie

Well, okay then. Here we are in 2021.

Weird how hopeful we were for those first few days, especially, though really not much has changed. We’re still in the middle of a global pandemic. But there are glimmers of light on the horizon; a new president will take the White House soon in the US, and hopefully by the end of the year, we will all be vaccinated and safe from the virus.

In the mean time, it’s winter, it’s dark, and we need comfort food. Ideally comfort food that comes from pantry staples, so we don’t have to leave the house.

Spaghetti Pie

I have just the thing. Spaghetti Pie.

This is a kind of mash-up of pizza and lasagne. Like a pizza, it has cheese and tomato sauce topping. But instead of a bread-like crust, the base is made of spaghetti. Yeah, that’s right! Plus it has the word “pie” in it, so you know it’s got to be good!

This would be a great way to use up any leftover spaghetti, by the way, on the off chance that you, like I often do, made too much.

This is a great pantry-staple comfort food weeknight dinner. You probably have spaghetti and a jar of marinara in your cupboard already, and you probably have cheese in your fridge.

In this particular case, I was playing with a new meat substitute that’s recently launched in Vancouver called Modern Meat. They sell a bunch of different products (all frozen, so handy to have on hand), like burgers, sliders, meatballs, crab cakes, and a “ground beef,” which is what I used to make this.

By the way, feel free to prep this in advance, maybe even on the weekend, and then pop it in the oven for a hearty weeknight meal. Pair with a salad and yay! Dinner done.

Oh, by the way, the day I was making this, Smitten Kitchen published this, which would be a very nice variation on this recipe.


via GIPHY

Spaghetti Pie

Ingredients

  • 7 oz spaghetti (cooked, al dente)
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 tbsp pesto
  • ½ cup grated pecorino or parmesan, divided in half
  • i package vegan ground beef (I used Modern Meat)
  • 1 cup ricotta cheese
  • 1 ½ cups marinara sauce, bottled or homemade
  • 1 cup shredded melty cheese, like mozzarella
  • salt & pepper to taste

Method

  1. If your spaghetti is not cooked, cook it first in salted water for a few minutes less than the package directions call for. Drain.
  2. In a large bowl, place the two eggs, half of the grated pecorino or parmesan and the pesto and beat well. Add the spaghetti and mix. Season, but be aware that the cheese is quite salty, so don’t overseason it.
  3. Grease a large pie plate or a springform pan and dump the spaghetti mixture into the bottom. Spread the ricotta in a layer over top of the spaghetti layer. Set aside.
  4. Brown the vegan ground beef in a large frying pan or a dutch oven over medium heat in a few tablespoons of oil.
  5. Add the marinara sauce, stir well to combine, and allow to cook down for about 5 minutes. Taste and adjust the seasoning. Spread this on top of the ricotta layer in the pan.
  6. Top with the cheeses.
  7. Bake in a preheated 350 degree oven for about 30 minutes, or until the cheese is bubbly and golden. Remove from oven and slice into wedges to serve.

2020: The Year that Was

Honestly, I thought I might skip the “year in review” post this year. I mean, I certainly wasn’t ready to write it while it was still 2020.

Normally these “year in review” posts go something like: here’s how many posts I wrote this year, this is what I learned, here are my most popular posts of the year.

I will still do some of that. But when it comes to learning lessons from 2020, what can you even say? It was the craziest, most unpredictable year of my life, and I know I’m not alone when I say that. It was for most of us, I’m sure.

The last time I set foot in my workplace was March 12. Since then, I have been teaching all of my classes on online. Let me just say first of all, that I am super grateful to have a job, and a job that was not affected by the pandemic. Affected yes, but not in the way that would have made it go away. My job is, thankfully, one I’m able to still do from my living room.

Easy transition, though? Nope. Not at all. In fact, it’s been hard. I put in many many many unpaid hours trying to figure out how to deliver my course content in a way that was going to be impactful and engaging. It’s been stressful. And I genuinely enjoy teaching face-to-face classes, so transitioning to teaching online hasn’t been my favourite thing.

Having said all that, I never had to go on CERB, and in fact, finished the year with extra money in the bank, probably because I had nowhere to spend it.

2020 also, much to my excitement, brought a new cookbook contract. This, however, did end up being another victim of coronavirus. From the time I signed the contract (which was very early in the pandemic) to the end of the year (which was when the book was meant to be published) things changed so dramatically that the publisher decided to cut their losses and not publish the book, despite the fact that I delivered the full manuscript on time, and they liked it.

So yeah, for me, this was 2020’s greatest personal loss (even though I did get paid to write the book). I was really looking forward to having another cookbook out there with my name on it, and I was very excited by and passionate about the subject.

Other things I’m super grateful for during this very challenging year include the health of my family and friends (I didn’t lose anyone close to me during the pandemic), and just my friends in general, who really helped to keep me sane. Having Michael at home during the pandemic was both good and challenging, but I am super proud of how hard he worked and how well he’s adapted.

I also bought an Apple Watch for my birthday in August, and that’s been a great incentive (as well as my mental health) to get out and walk almost every day.

Okay, enough about me. Let’s talk about food.

One thing that I think was really positive about the pandemic is how people started to cook again. And bake. I mean, here we all were stuck at home all the time, anyway, right? Might as well make something. To be fair, this is my world all the time, but having more people in it was awesome. To see the world embracing sourdough made me really, really happy.

I really noticed a sense of community this year, too. Like my neighbours especially have been really great with exchanging food and baking and offering to pick stuff up if they are making a trip to the store. That can only be a good thing.

2020 Statistics:

  • Blog posts written: 50
  • Total number of words written: 28,238
  • Average words per post: 565

And here are a few of my favourite posts I wrote this year: 

Sugar-Free Aquafaba Meringue: Three years since the publication of my cookbook and I’m still talking about and learning new things about aquafaba!

Wacky Cake: In 2019 I came into possession of my mom’s recipe box, and this year I really got into it, making many of the recipes I grew up with, all written in my mother’s handwriting (and a few in 12-year-old Becky’s). This accidentally vegan chocolate cake is one of my absolute favorites.

Sourdough Bread for the Apocalypse: I couldn’t resist doing a post on the pandemic and sourdough.

No Bake Peanut Butter Bars: one of my very favourite recipes of 2020. So good!

Okay, that’s it! And here’s to a much, much better 2021. Fingers crossed, knock wood, rub your lucky rabbit’s foot….

Adaptation. Resilience. These are the words we need to take with us into 2021.

Happy New Year, friends. I wish you all the best, and may your sourdough crumb be perfect.

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