A while back I picked up a package of corn noodles at the Asian grocery store. I had no idea what I was going to do with them – corn noodles really aren’t something I associate with the Far East – but I picked them up, anyway. I think they may have been 99¢. Inexpensive and different. Two of my favorite things. Into the shopping cart they went.
At home, they went into the cabinet. And stayed there, languishing amongst the other things I’ve picked up here and there but have yet to use.
Last night, while taking inventory for my grocery shopping this morning, I saw them and took them down. I decided they were going to be a part of dinner tonight. I wasn’t sure what, but they were going to be dinner.
As I said, corn noodles don’t immediately shout out Asia to me, but corn screams Mexico. I was trying to envision some sort of Mexican spaghetti dish but all I was seeing was tamales. Then the idea of spaghetti pie hit me. It’s like a tamale pie but with corn noodles instead of masa. How could it be bad?!?
The answer, of course, is “It wasn’t!”.
I dirtied several pots and pans making the “one-pot” dinner, but the end result was worth it. And I sliced it almost immediately after taking it out of the oven instead of waiting for it to set up a bit, so… no pictures of the plate. It wasn’t exactly photo-quality. But it sure did taste good.
Mexican Spaghetti Pie
- 8 oz corn spaghetti noodles
- 4 oz cheddar cheese
- 4 oz quesso fresco or ricotta salada
- 1/2 cup ricotta, drained
- 2 eggs, slightly beaten
- 1 lb ground pork
- 1 small onion, diced
- 1 tsp cumin
- 1 tsp chipotle powder
- 1 jar Sofrito sauce
- 1 large tomato, sliced
- salt and pepper, to taste
Preheat oven to 350°. Butter 10″ pie plate.
Cook corn noodles according to package instructions. Drain and cool. Mix 1 pat melted butter into noodles. Add two slightly beaten eggs and the shredded cheddar cheese.
Mix well and place in pie plate, working it up the sides to create a “crust”.
Saute onion in a pat of butter or oil. Add cumin and chipotle powder and cook until fragrant. Add pork and cook completely.
Spread cooked pork mixture over noodles, staying within the noodle crust.
Mix the ricotta with the quesso fresco. Spread on top of the pork mixture, covering it completely.
Spoon one jar of Sofrito sauce on top, covering the cheese mixture completely.
Top with sliced tomato.
Bake at 350° for about an hour.
I suppose I should have let it set longer and tried to take out smaller slices.
It didn’t look that great falling apart, but it had all the flavors I was looking for!
I can see a few different variations on this.
And who knows… maybe I’ll even find a Vietnamese recipe for the corn noodles.
It could happen!