Spaghetti al Eisa

When my partner told me he didn't like regular pasta with meat sauce (what I had planned to cook), I had to create a baked pasta using similar ingredients. Since I always have cottage cheese on hand, I decided to go for a lasagne-like dish.

Yield: 8 - 12

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Spaghetti al Eisa Recipe

Ingredients
  • 3 pounds ground beef, 85% lean
  • 2 large onions
  • 10 cloves garlic
  • 1 bunch flat leaf parsley
  • 1 tablespoon rosemary
  • 1 tablespoon lemon thyme
  • 1 tablespoon thyme
  • 1 tablespoon oregano
  • 2 tablespoons basil
  • 1 small can diced tomatoes
  • 1 large can chunky tomato sauce
  • 2 pounds spaghetti noodles
  • 2 (1 quart) containers garden vegetable cottage cheese, or plain cottage cheese plus 2 tablespoons dried vegetables
  • olive oil, for sauteing the vegetables
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • 4 eggs
  • about 1 cup pecorino romano cheese shavings
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Preparation Instructions

Chop the onions, parsley, and garlic. Saute them in olive oil until the onions become transparent, being careful not to brown onions or garlic.

Add ground beef, salt, and lots of freshly ground pepper. Cook, breaking meat up, until meat is done. Add all the spices to the mixture once the meat is done. Add the two cans of tomatoes. Heat until well warmed through. Adjust the seasonings to taste.

At the same time as the sauce, cook the spaghetti until al dente. Drain and coat with oil so that the spaghetti doesn’t stick.

In a large bowl, combine the cottage cheese and eggs. In a large casserole, at least 13”x 9” and at least 3” deep, put about 1/3 of the spaghetti. Over that put about 1/3 of the meat sauce. Over that put about ½ of the egg/cottage cheese mixture.

Repeat with the spaghetti, then meat sauce, then egg mixture layers. End with the remaining spaghetti and the remaining third of the meat sauce.

Cover tightly with foil and bake at 350 F degrees for about 1 hour. Remove the foil, and sprinkle the cheese over the top. Return to the oven and continue baking until the cheese is browning and the casserole is bubbly.

Serve with extra cheese, a green salad with garlic vinaigrette, and, if you’re a drinker, a fruity red wine.

Yield: 8 - 12
Helpful Hints

Feel free to adjust the seasonings to your own taste. Ground turkey or italian sausage could be substituted for part of the ground beef. Ricotta cheese can be substituted for the cottage cheese.

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