baked spaghetti bolognese pie

Christ almighty. We’ve had the plasterers in (it’s like having the painters in, only I’m not getting all hysterical and crying into a box of Milk Tray) (I’m kidding, jeez) and the house is an absolute and utter bomb-site. He’s expertly taken all of the Artex off the ceiling and made it smoother than a silk worm’s diarrheah. Which is apt, given it’s an awful brown colour. However, the dust. Good LORD the dust. It’s literally everywhere imaginable. We’ve had the Dyson out all day – which is a feat in itself, given it’s one of those fancy digital cordless ones that powers down after twenty minutes – but I’m still finding pockets of orange dust everywhere. I swear I farted on the sofa earlier and it looked like a little firework going off behind me. Awful.

Just awful. Speaking of farts (as you know it’s one of our favourite topics), I need to confess something dreadful. See we had those chicken gyros on Friday night and all day yesterday, our farts smelt like a tramp’s sock boiled in death itself. They were dreadful – intensely potent and incredibly wide-ranging. Of course, being us, this was just hilarious, and we were farting and pooting and trumpeting all the way around Tesco, beside ourselves with laughter and merriment.

But then, when we got to IKEA, I topped them all. We were there to look at possible storage solutions for our fitted wardrobe (oh the decadence) when I had a faint rumbling in my nethers. I say a faint rumbling, it was like someone testing a speedboat engine. So, sensing an opportunity for mischief, I ducked around a corner, opened one of the doors on the showroom wardrobe, and let out a guff. It was tiny, like I’d startled a duck, but I knew it would be concentrated. I hastily shut the door and called Paul over, on the pretence that I wanted him to check what type of hinge it was on the bottom of the door. He came lumbering over in his own special way, knelt down and opened the door, only to be hit full in the face with the contained fart. I almost saw the skin on his nose blacken. Honestly, you could see the fugitive zephyr as it bounced around the interior. He immediately turned around and called me a filthy see-you-next-Tuesday and I almost broke my back bent over laughing.

Mind, at least we have fun. We might not have the most exciting lives but we’re always laughing. We came away from IKEA the same way we normally do, with absolutely nothing in our trolley but our pockets bulging with a quarter-tonne of IKEA pencils, ready to be shoved into the same kitchen drawer as the other 323,537 IKEA pencils we’ve stolen. Perhaps we should get a log burner after all, we could keep it going for a good few months on nicked stationery alone!

Because the plasterer was going to be in our house all day, we had to fill up the time ‘out of the house’, so we thought we’d spend a gay few hours tripping around the Metrocentre, which, if you’ve never heard of it, is the North’s answer to an American shopping mall from the nineties. It has everything! Closed clothes shops, closed food quarters, closed gadget shops, a plethora of e-cigarette and mobile phone cover stands AND any amount of imbecilic fuckknuckles walking around getting IN MY BLOODY WAY. I remember when the Metrocentre was worth going to – namely when it had Metroland, where the thrill of going on an indoor rollercoaster totally made-up for the risk of getting inappropriately touched-up behind the ferris wheel. It was a haven for nonces, apparently, though I never experienced that. Must have been my ungainly weight and C&A haircut that put them off.

We did spend half an hour in the Namco Games bit, which is full of those totally rigged but faintly fun arcade machines where you win tickets that you can redeem for lead-covered tat later on. We played a giant version of Monopoly, we did some virtual fishing and, I shit you not, I managed to win a proper licenced Flappy Bird toy from one of those claw machines that usually have all the grip of Jeremy Beadle. I couldn’t quite believe it. We did nip next door to the ‘adults only’ bit where the proper slot machines were but fucking hell, it’s just too depressing watching adults feed money into the slots at 10am in the morning. Nobody wins.

Anyway. This recipe is for a baked spaghetti bolognese pie, but it’s pretty much spaghetti Bolognese served in a different way – we couldn’t get a good picture of the meal when it was on the plate but understand that the cheesy spaghetti acts as a ‘crust’ to hold the meat in. Haha, meat.

baked spaghetti pie

to make baked spaghetti bolognese pie, you’ll need:

  • 500g lean beef mince
  • one onion, chopped
  • 8 tbsp tomato puree
  • 1 tin of chopped tomatoes
  • 1 tsp oregano
  • 1 tsp basil, chopped
  • ¼ tsp pepper
  • 170g spaghetti
  • 2 eggs
  • 25g grated parmesan (HexA)
  • 340g fat-free cottage cheese
  • 1 tbsp dried parsley
  • 1 reduced-fat mozzarella ball, torn into pieces (HexA)

and once you’ve got all that, you should:

  • preheat the oven to 180°C
  • cook the spaghetti according to the instructions, drain and set aside
  • stop your cat from eating any cooled spaghetti
  • on a large frying pan gently sweat the onion in a little oil (or Frylight) until softened
  • add the mince and cook until browned
  • add the chopped tomatoes, tomato puree, oregano, basil, salt  and pepper and mix well
  • simmer over a low heat for about 10 minutes
  • meanwhile, in a large bowl mix together cooked spaghetti, egg and parmesan
  • press the spaghetti mixture into a non-stick, deep 9″ tin
  • in another bowl whisk together the other egg, cottage cheese and parsley
  • add the cheese mixture to the tin, spreading evenly
  • next, add the meat mixture on top of the cheese; shake the tin gently to even the top out if necessary
  • place in the oven and cook for about twenty minutes
  • scatter the mozzarella onto the top and place under a medium-high grill for a few minutes until bubbling – the sauce that is, not yourself

Easy, right?