Classic recipe, indeed…
At some point in my pre-adolescent youth, I believe I was watching the Martha Stewart Show (perfect time slot, it ran the hour before our schoolwork started, what else would an 11 year old desire?) one day and saw some chef provide insight into the perfect use for leftover spaghetti. Spaghetti Pie.
I WAS SOLD.
But I also was 11, and although I was the 11 year old who would have loved nothing more than to make that spaghetti pie in order to relish the eating of the pie (I frequently had ulterior motives in the kitchen. I like to believe I was a useful addition during dinner prep but I know a solid chunk of the grated cheese or sliced apples mostly got consumed by, well, me. Thanks mom!). Somehow, someway, I never made a spaghetti pie. It may have been due to the blasphemy of leftover spaghetti–noodles were made and then promptly eaten in abundance. What kind of table had leftovers of plain spaghetti to use the next day for anything? None I knew.
Flash forward to my burgeoning adulthood, and it quickly became a gluten-free, then one day grain-free, existence. I’d think about that spaghetti pie maybe once a year, always musing “yes, yes, one day I will make you, you sweet memory” but the whole noodle aspect, and springform pan aspect, alluded me. I’m not one for many kitchen gadgets and buying a springform pan?! Seemed much too much for my needs.
Why a spaghetti pie now?
So off the spaghetti pie thoughts went, always weaving back in to say hello now and then, never taunting me so deliriously that I’d actually make the time to figure the darn thing out, especially in a fairly noodle-less existence.
But then, July 2017 hit. And I found myself making time to figure out just what the heck I wanted to do with myself. During that time I was taking a half-vacation, seeing a few nutrition client, and mostly reading and listening to books and spending time with myself. It was a luxury, and a luxury I didn’t want to feel unattainable nor guilty about anymore. Luckily all those dang books were set around how to propol into life’s gear shifts (ah, at this time I also tried to learn how to drive stick and failed and mostly flailed a lot, as an aside) with intention. A book highly recommended by a friend that provided so much clarity was Designing Your Life, and it was like a breath of fresh air. The book includes a good handful of exercises that help you conceptualize what you actually enjoy doing, and after scribbling a few exercises I realized:
“Where has the creativity gone?”
In the life (THE life, life at its life-iest), as it seems to happen, I had misplaced, squished down, neglected, felt too tired for… creativity. It felt assumptive and unnecessary, and I had finally gotten myself piano lessons last year, and wasn’t that scratching the itch?
Life, it’s as circular as a springform pan…
So I took stock of the exercises I completed in pen, I spent time with some of the feels one inevitably feels during those transitions, and I realized I had stopped something I loved.
This blog! I mean, sure, I posted a bit here, a bit there, but it was out of tired duty, out of a pull towards it I couldn’t quite manage. I had begun over the years to feel the creep of expectations surrounding this blog, and if that isn’t creativity stifling, welp, it was for me, at least. I realize that wait, I wanted to cultivate and create a space to be what I had hoped and desired to stumble upon back in the day–a safe and well-tufted couch along the stretch of room after room on the interwebs, a place where food makes sense, looks manageable, has a reason behind its creation and is coming from a soul that wants it there.
I wanted to take photos of food again! I wanted to be dreamy and schemey about food again. I wanted my appetite back, and I wanted to dig into the recesses of my brain that were stagnating. Creativity is a scary thing for a pragmatist.
So, spaghetti pie for those with fewer grains or NO grains in their diets? Well, hot damn! I’ll buy a $10 springform pan for THAT culinary challenge! Make it easy? OK sure! Make it tasty? Well, that’s for you to decide. I think it’s, as Mary Berry puts it, scrummy… but, I’ve been thinking about this pie for 15 years, so… you let me know.
White Yam Spaghetti Pie with Arugula Pesto
This paleo, dairy-free and grain-free spaghetti pie sets so wonderfully after baking and is a gorgeous addition to any brunch spread--or, serve simply over fresh arugula with a drizzle of lemon juice for a simple dinner.
White Yam Spaghetti Pie
- 3 large white yams or sweet potatoes peeled
- 2 cups fresh arugula
- 3 eggs
- 1 tablespoon gelatin optional
- 1/2 cup canned coconut milk full fat
- 1/2 cup filtered water
- 2 teaspoons sea salt
- 2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
- 3 cups packed arugula
- 3/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 2 tablespoons fresh thyme leaves
- 3 large garlic cloves smashed and peels removed
- 1/2 cup pumpkin seeds
- 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
White Yam Spaghetti Pie
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
- Prepare your 9 inch springform pan by covering the bottom and the "lip" with aluminum foil. This ensures the pie bakes without leakage and means less clean up once it's finished! Grease the inside of the pan with butter, extra virgin olive oil or coconut oil.
- In a large bowl, combine the eggs, coconut cream and water, then whisk to combine. Sprinkle the gelatin on top and allow to bloom for a few minutes, add in salt, black pepper and pepper flakes and whisk to combine again.
- Use either a spiralizer or a serrated peeler to create noodles out of the yam or white sweet potatoes (see note below), then place all noodles in the bowl with the egg mixture, and add the fresh arugula leaves. Stir to thoroughly combine.
- Pour half of the egg and yam mixture into the prepared pan, then dollop half of the arugula pesto throughout. Pour the remaining egg and yam mixture on top, and again dollop the remaining half of the arugula pesto on the top, and swirl it about a bit to look, well, cute.
- Place the pie in the oven for 45 minutes, covering with aluminum foil for the last 10 minutes if the top browns early.
- Remove the pie from the oven and allow to cool completely, then transfer to the fridge overnight to full set.
- When you're ready to serve, remove the foil from the bottom and lip of the pan, unlatch the springform sides and slice your beautiful pie!
- In a food processor, combine all ingredients and pulse a few times to create your preferred pesto consistency. I prefer a little chunky! You can also use a blender or an immersion blender, also pulsing just a few times.