In her new cookbook, Bringing It Home, Top Chef judge Gail Simmons shares her recipe for a crowd-pleasing spaghetti pie that's studded with sautéed broccoli, spicy Italian sausage and more than a pound of cheese. It's a dinner hearty enough to satisfy even the harshest panel of critics (though Simmons writes that the towering, savory pie makes for the "best leftovers of all time").
To learn more, read “Home Run.”
Gail Simmons's Spaghetti Pie
Excerpted from BRINGING IT HOME Favorite Recipes from a Life of Adventurous Eating by Gail Simmons. Copyright © 2017 by Gail Simmons. Reprinted with permission from Grand Central Life & Style. All rights reserved.
Yield: 8 to 10 servings
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour and 10 minutes, plus resting time
Total Time: 1 hour and 15 minutes, plus resting time
Unsalted butter for greasing the pan
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 medium yellow onion, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
¾ pound broccoli or broccoli rabe, trimmed, stems and florets chopped into 1/4-inch pieces (about 2 ½ cups)
1 pound hot or sweet Italian sausage, removed from casings
1 tablespoon tomato paste
1 (28-ounce) can whole peeled tomatoes, drained, tomatoes crushed by hand
1 pound dried spaghetti
3/4 cup whole milk
3 large eggs
2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
2 ½ cups (8 ounces) grated sharp yellow cheddar cheese
2 ½ cups (8 ounces) grated fontina cheese
1 ½ cups (3 ounces) freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, divided
1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh sage
Special equipment: 9 ½-inch springform pan
1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Heat the oven to 425ºF. Butter a 9 1/2-inch springform pan. Tightly wrap the bottom of the pan with a large sheet of foil, crimping the foil against the outer edges to tightly seal.
2. In a large skillet, heat the oil over medium-high heat. Add the onion and garlic and cook for 1 minute. Add the broccoli and 1 tablespoon water and cook until the broccoli is crisp-tender, 2 to 3 minutes. Add the sausage and cook, breaking the meat into small bits, until cooked through, about 6 minutes. Stir in the tomato paste and cook 1 minute, then add the crushed drained tomatoes and 1/4 teaspoon salt. Cook, stirring occasionally and scraping any bits from the pan, until the liquid is mostly evaporated, about 5 minutes. Remove from the heat and set aside.
3. Add salt to the boiling water and cook the spaghetti just until very al dente, 7 to 8 minutes (look for a white spot in the center when you bite into a strand). Drain the pasta (do not rinse) and reserve the pot.
4. In the pasta pot, whisk together the milk, eggs, pepper, and 3/4 teaspoon salt. stir in the cheddar, fontina, and 1 cup of the Parmesan. Add the sausage mixture and spaghetti; stir until well combined.
5. Transfer the pasta mixture to the prepared pan. Using a spatula, smooth the top. Set the pan on a rimmed baking sheet and bake until the edges are golden and bubbling, about 35 minutes.
6. Remove the pan from the oven. Turn on the broiler. sprinkle the pie with the sage and remaining 1/2 cup Parmesan. Broil 4 to 5 inches from the heat until the cheese is golden, 2 to 3 minutes. Remove from the oven and run a knife around the inside of the pan. Let the pie rest about 10 minutes then release and remove the sides of the pan. Cut the pie into slices and serve warm.