Ok. I know you know this favorite camping song based on the classic,
“On Top of Old Smokey”,….so, sing it with me! 😀
“On top of spaghetti
All covered with cheese
I lost my poor meatball
When somebody sneezed.
It rolled off the table
And onto the floor
And then my poor meatball
Rolled out of the door.
It rolled in the garden
And under a bush
And then my poor meatball
Was nothing but mush.
The mush was as tasty
As tasty could be
And early next summer
It grew into a tree.
The tree was all covered
With beautiful moss
It grew great big meatballs
And tomato sauce.
So if you eat spaghetti
All covered with cheese
Hold on to to your meatballs
And don’t ever sneeze!”
That favorite childhood song was actually the inspiration for my own version of this timeless pie! A lot of people make “spaghetti pie”, but I just don’t care for plain ol’ regular ol’ ground meat in it, and have always thought that meatballs are so much more fun! 😉
I had one of my 50/50 blends in the freezer that was perfect for this! I like to mix together half extra-lean ground beef and half ground Italian sausage! The extra-lean beef is too lean and can make meatballs tough, but when you mix it with the sausage, it not only creates juicy, tender meatballs, but also adds extra flavor. Essentially, you end up with half the fat and extra flavor! Win! Win! 😉
Once your meatballs are done, the rest of the pie is a breeze.
And the meatballs are super easy to make, too! I bake them so that you don’t have to chase them around the pan for half an hour! 😉
You simply cook your spaghetti until just al dente, and toss the pasta with beaten eggs, parmesan cheese and a little sauce. Then pour your noodles into a pie plate and lightly press into the dish covering the bottom and up the sides.
Next, I like to add another layer that most people don’t. A dreamy-cheesy ricotta layer!
The ricotta layer, which is just your basic blend of ricotta, parmesan, an egg, salt and a little secret ingredient…basil pesto 😉 ,….adds a velvety creaminess, and keeps the pie nice and moist while adding another layer of flavor!
Next, you top the cheesy ricotta layer with those mouthwatering, juicy meatballs!
And break out into the song all over again! 😀
This next part is up to you. I use my homemade Garden Fresh Italian Pasta Sauce made from tomatoes, peppers and herbs grown right in my own garden. That, of course, is ideal. But you can make a quickie sauce starting with canned tomato puree or whole tomatoes. Or, as a last resort, you can simply use your favorite purchased sauce from your local grocery store. (My “easy sauce” is at the bottom in the notes for you if you’d like to go with that option.)
Next, comes more cheese. Lots and lots of cheese!!
Mozzarella, provolone and more parmesan!
Then just lightly season the top, pop your pie into the oven, and in about a half an hour, your house is going to smell like a little Italian ristorante!!
Just look at all of those beautiful layers of flavor and cheese!
Pour yourself a glass of wine, break the bread and dress your salad ~
because dinner is done! 😀
Getting hungry yet? 😉
I’m sorry. That was mean.
This is a wonderful pie that’s easy enough for weeknights, especially if you make the meatballs ahead of time. But it’s also a welcome treat for guests!
I’ve even had requests for this spectacular Italian pie for birthdays! Place a candle in the middle to make it extra fun! 😉
But no matter who is coming to the dinner table, they won’t be late and you won’t have to call them twice! This pie is absolutely delicious and actually very easy and simple to make!
I do hope that you save this recipe and make it soon!
Link to my > Garden Fresh Italian Pasta Sauce < made from scratch.
- For Meatballs:
- ½ lb. lean ground beef, broken up well
- ½ lb. mild or sweet ground Italian sausage, broken up well
- ⅓ cup italian-seasoned dry breadcrumbs
- ¼ cup finely grated parmesan cheese, Kraft canned kind ok
- ½ tsp. Italian seasoning
- ½ tsp. oregano
- 1 tsp. fennel seed
- 1½ tsp. dried minced onions
- 1 tsp. salt
- ¼ tsp. coarse ground black pepper
- ¼ cup milk
- 1 beaten egg
- ½ tsp. worcestershire sauce
- extra pepper and a little salt on top before baking
- For Ricotta Layer:
- 1½ cups ricotta
- 1 extra-large egg
- ¼ cup parmesan cheese
- 2 tsp. basil pesto
- ½ tsp. salt
- Rest of Ingredients:
- 8 oz. thick (or regular) spaghetti noodles, cooked in salted water and drained
- 2 beaten extra-large eggs
- ⅓ cup parmesan cheese
- 1½ cups spaghetti sauce, DIVIDED, *homemade from scratch preferably - see my recipe link (otherwise use my simple version in the *notes, or your favorite purchased brand)
- For Top:
- 2 cups shredded mozzarella & provolone blend cheese
- ⅛ cup parmesan cheese
- ¼ tsp. italian seasoning
- ⅛ tsp. garlic salt
- For Meatballs: In large bowl, mix all ingredients WELL with hands. Pat into a mound, divide into fourths, and make 4 large meatballs out of each section totaling 16. Place onto sprayed or parchment paper-lined baking sheet. Sprinkle tops with more pepper. Bake in 375º oven for 28 minutes. Remove from sheet with spoon scraping away any fat and place onto plate lined with paper towel. Cover and set aside.
- For Spaghetti Layer: Bring large pot of salted water to a boil and cook noodles until al dente according to package directions. Drain well. Do not rinse. Stir in eggs, parmesan cheese and ¼ cup spaghetti sauce. Pour spaghetti into pie plate, and lightly press onto bottom and up sides of plate.
- For Ricotta Layer: In medium bowl, mix together well the Ricotta Layer ingredients. Spoon onto bottom of spaghetti pie and smooth level.
- To Finish: Top ricotta layer with meatballs. Spoon rest of spaghetti sauce (1¼ cups) over meatballs.
- Top with shredded mozzarella & provolone cheese. (I use Sargento's.) Sprinkle top evenly with parmesan, italian seasoning and garlic salt.
- Bake at 350º for 35-40 minutes, or until cheese is lightly browning and pie is sizzling.