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Tips : Food Last Updated: Mar 19th, 2010 - 11:39:35

Spaghetti Options Your Family Will Love
By Christine Steendahl
Mar 18, 2009, 15:17

Depending on where you live and what your ethnic heritage, your family probably eats lots of potatoes or lots of pasta. If you're searching for some creative suggestions on how to use spaghetti to spice up dinnertime, here are 5 things you can do with spaghetti that you may not have thought of!

1. Use it cold in a salad. Cook the pasta according to package directions and rinse well in cold water. Create a dressing with 1/3 C mayo, 1/3 C plain yogurt, 1 T sugar, 1 T soy sauce and 1/2 t fresh ground ginger. Toss the pasta and the dressing with 2 chicken breasts, cooked and cubed, 1 red pepper, cooked until tender, but still crisp, 1/2 cup slivered peanuts, 8-oz of water chestnuts, 1/2 cup slivered carrots, 1/2 cucumber, peeled and chunked, salt and pepper to taste. Garnish with 1/2 cup fresh cilantro.

2. Make a spaghetti pie. Spaghetti pie is like a combination of spaghetti and lasagna, with spaghetti noodles used as the pasta. There are plenty of variations on spaghetti pie, but here's an easy one this is truly delicious. Cook 3/4 lb of spaghetti to al dente. Put about half of the noodles into a lightly greased spring form pan and cover with 1/2 jar of spaghetti sauce. Next, add a meat and cheese mixture. (Try 2 cups ricotta cheese, 1/2 cup mozzarella, 3 large eggs, 1/2 t ground oregano, 1/2 t salt, 1 T basil and 1/4 t salt. Mix together with 1-pound Italian sausage, browned with green pepper and onion. ) Use half the meat/cheese mixture as the third layer in your spaghetti pie. Repeat the layers and top with some mozzarella cheese. Cover with foil and bake at 375 degrees for 45 minutes. Remove the foil and bake for another five minutes. Remove the pie from the oven and let it stand for 10 minutes before you slice it.

3. For a quick, easy rice pilaf, just cut the spaghetti into one-inch lengths, brown them in a pan with a little butter and add some rice!

4. Make a frittata for brunch: Do you always make too many spaghetti noodles? Here's a great idea for that left over pasta! Pre-heat the broiler on your oven. Put a little olive oil into a frying pan that can go in the oven and heat it over medium heat. Add 2-4 cups leftover spaghetti and spread it out over the pan. Heat through for a minute or two, stirring occasionally. In a separate bowl, beat 3-4 eggs and add a splash of milk or half-and -half, two big handfuls of grated Romano cheese and salt and pepper. Pour the egg mixture over the spaghetti in the pan. Let the eggs cook, lifting the edges as you would an omelet, so the uncooked eggs can run to the bottom and cook. When the eggs are nearly done, put the whole works under the broiler until it is lightly browned. Watch it close- it only takes about a minute. Remove from the oven carefully and slice into wedges. This dish is good either hot or at room temperature.

5. Here's a quickie to use up that leftover spaghetti: Stir-fry thin strips of zucchini and yellow squash with olive oil, oregano, basil & salt & pepper. Then toss the cold pasta into the pot and get it all coated. Add some Parmesan on top and enjoy!

These recipes are so tasty, the next time you make spaghetti, you may find yourself cooking too many noodles on purpose!
For more more great spaghetti recipes, check out

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