Abigail participated in the 4-H Favorite Food Contest again this year. She wanted to make Stuffed Manicotti but we found out that it would take longer to bake than the time she was given, so she decided on this dish instead. She worried that a casserole would be ordinary, and it doesn't look very fancy, but it tastes delicious! She won the red ribbon in the Junior category and had lots of fun at the contest. She chose her place setting with Stuffed Manicotti in mind and she got dinged a couple of points on her score card because the judge felt that she should have had a more southwestern theme reflected on her table. But, she'll have a chance to change the place setting when she goes to the district food contest later. I've posted more about the contest here.
Southwest Spaghetti Pie
6 oz. uncooked spaghetti, broken into thirds
½ lb. lean ground beef
½ cup chopped green and red bell peppers
1 cup prepared salsa
1 can (15 oz.) diced tomatoes, do not drain
1 can (15 oz.) black beans, drained and rinsed
¾ cup frozen corn, thawed
½ -1 teaspoon cumin, according to taste
6 oz. (1 ½ cups) shredded Cheddar cheese, divided
½ cup small curd Cottage cheese
Cook the spaghetti just to al dente. Drain and set aside. Meanwhile heat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 1 ½ quart casserole with nonstick cooking spray. Cook ground beef with peppers until no longer pink, stirring often. Drain. Stir in salsa, tomatoes, black beans, corn and cumin. Cook 2 minutes or until thoroughly heated. Stir in ½ cup of the cheese.
Beat egg in a medium bowl until well blended and foamy. Add cottage cheese and cooked spaghetti; toss to coat. Spoon spaghetti mixture into sprayed casserole. Spoon meat mixture on top of spaghetti. Bake at 350 degrees for 15 minutes. Sprinkle remaining 1 cup cheese over top and return to oven for 10 minutes or until crust is light golden brown. Let sit for 10 minutes or so before serving. Makes 6 servings.