I officially met Timothy Pakron, author of Mississippi Vegan, last Fall at a very special book-release dinner party for him hosted by Erin Barrett from Sunwoven Studios and Jessica Murnane from One Part Plant.
Tim made a beautiful meal for us—gumbo, shiitake bacon, rice, biscuits, roasted cauliflower, and cobbler for dessert that we à la moded, thank you very much. He made it look effortless all the while beaming over his gorgeous new book baby. I don’t think I’m only speaking for myself here when I say this, but I was honored to be there to celebrate this special milestone with him.
Tim is fun. F.U.N. He has kind eyes, an infectious laughter, and a bright spirit that you just want around. You know when you think of certain people and immediately smile from the inside out? Tim invokes that… and this photo below pretty much sums up the evening.
The food he prepared… lordy. It was decadent but comforting—made with all the love.
I landed here…
As any rational person would.
Definitely the Spaghetti Pie.
I’ve made a little recipe video to inspire you to make this too… because you should make this recipe!
Now, before I begin, Tim and I shared a good belly laugh at Erin’s over the fact that neither of us can follow a recipe to save our life, so I hope my twists and simple additions get his blessing. I clearly indicate what they are below.
– – – Printable recipe version at bottom of post – – –
Spaghetti Pie with Summer Squash
SERVES 6 TO 8
I remember the first time I had spaghetti pie when I was a little kid. My friend’s mother made it for us, and I was obsessed with the fact that it was a pie made out of noodles. It still excites me just thinking about it, which is why I make it to this day. The best part? When someone looks at you like you’re crazy and says, “Spaghetti pie!?” I love adding summer squash or zucchini to make this dish juicy. As for my “easy marinara?” Well, it really is. You should have everything in your pantry to whip it up in no time. Simply doctor up 2 cans of fire-roasted tomatoes and there you have it. Easy breezy.
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 medium red onion, chopped
¼ cup chopped garlic
Two 14.5-ounce cans fire-roasted diced tomatoes
1 teaspoon onion powder
1 teaspoon garlic powder
½ teaspoon dried basil
½ teaspoon dried oregano
½ teaspoon dried rosemary
½ teaspoon dried thyme
½ teaspoon sugar (optional)
Dash freshly grated nutmeg
Crushed red pepper flakes
Chopped fresh herbs, if you got ’em
Salt and freshly cracked black pepper
½ cup nutritional yeast, plus more for sprinkling
2 tablespoons potato starch
2 tablespoons olive oil
One 16-ounce package spaghetti, cooked according to package directions
8 ounces yellow squash, sliced into 1⁄4-inch-thick rounds (2 to 3 squash)
¼ cup breadcrumbs
Sea salt and freshly cracked black pepper
Vegan parmesan-style shreds, for garnish (optional)
1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Grease a 7-inch springform pan or pie dish.
Note from Heather: I used a cast iron skillet
2. Make the easy marinara: In a small pot, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Toss in the onion and cook until tender, about 10 minutes.
Note from Heather: I didn’t have a red onion so I used a yellow one. I also used a Dutch oven for sauce making and combining with spaghetti because, less dishes.
Add the garlic and cook until tender, about 5 minutes. Add the tomatoes, onion powder, garlic powder, basil, oregano, rosemary, thyme, sugar, nutmeg, pepper flakes, and fresh herbs, if using, and bring to a boil.
Note from Heather: I used loads of fresh herbs instead of dry (at least double the amount called for in the recipe). Nothing against dry herbs, I just didn’t have any, but I did have fresh. I also used marjoram instead of oregano (they’re cousins) and the flavor was super good.
Reduce the heat to low and simmer, stirring occasionally, for about 20 minutes. Season with salt and pepper to taste. For a smoother marinara, blend with an immersion blender or in a stand blender.
Note from Heather: I blended about ¾ of the sauce in the blender and added back to the remaining—wanted a few chunks.
3. Make the pie: In a bowl, combine the marinara (reserving some for the top), nutritional yeast, potato starch, and olive oil. Mix well. Toss in the cooked spaghetti and sliced squash and mix until thoroughly incorporated.
Note from Heather: In the vid, I refer to nutritional yeast as “nooch.”
Transfer to the greased pan or dish and squoosh down the mixture. Spoon on remaining marinara in the middle and spread into a thin layer, leaving some noodles exposed for the crust. Sprinkle with breadcrumbs, nutritional yeast, and sea salt and pepper to taste.
Note from Heather: I used gluten-free spaghetti noodles—I didn’t have potato starch and was happy to report that it was still delicious and all held up well. I’m sure Tim recommends this for structure, so definitely try it if you have it. I also didn’t have breadcrumbs on hand, so I used some blanched almond flour which worked beautifully. I also folded in carrot and zucchini ribbons, as well as some Miyoko’s vegan mozzarella. Why not?
4. Bake until the edges are crispy, 20 to 30 minutes. Slice and serve with vegan Parmesan, if desired.
Note from Heather: I simply heated up leftovers in a skillet, which was a great way to get even more crispy edges on the noodles (I’ve always been that crispy-corner-piece-of-the-brownie-pan-and-also-the-lasagna kind of gal). I just greased the pan and let the slice brown and crisp, then flipped. You could also reheat in the oven.
Big thanks to Tim for letting me share this new recipe obsession with you. Enjoy!
Want more inspiration? Check out my books.
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