Savoury

Spaghetti Cake

I spent a good number of sleepless nights the past month trying to figure out time management, cutting down on work and prioritising my sanity. But, you know, when it rains, it pours. All my ‘strategizing’ has been gently kicked out the window with work days extending way into the late hours, mindboggling projects and so much paperwork that the kitchen adventures have had to take a bit of a backseat. And I have truly missed the kitchen.

So one night I decided to quit midweek and spend a laborious morning in the kitchen, with recipes that entail lengthy procedures whilst listening to some very good music, and sipping on cups of delicious coffee. I finally felt human all over again!

So this recipe is something rather unique – a spaghetti cake! This is perhaps a bit further from the usual kitchen therapy travails – it requires patience and quite some time, but I can assure you – it is all worth it!

The pasta is cooked, and divided between three sauces then layered into a well-oiled cake tin and the baked – with copious amount of cheeses!

While the recipe normally asks for spaghetti, I went for a packet of bucatini – a slightly thicker spaghetti with a hole running through it, that is traditionally used in the Italian meat sauce – amatriciana, based on guanciale, pecorino, tomatoes and chilli peppers. This type of pasta works very well with buttery sauces and maintains good shape for this pie. But feel free to use any sort of pasta and of course, instead of three kinds of sauces, you can go ahead and use just one – the choice is yours.

The Recipe
Serves 6

Ingredients

  • 300g bucatini, cooked
  • 1 1/2 cups shredded cheese (parmesan, cheddar, processed mix)
  • olive oil for greasing
  • 2 beetroots, boiled and roughly chopped
  • 2 tsp olive oil
  • 3 garlic cloves
  • 1/2 cup walnuts
  • 3/4 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 2 cups spinach, chopped
  • 2 tsp olive oil
  • 2 tsp minced garlic
  • 1 onion, medium, chopped
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp dried oregano
  • 2 tsp dried basil
  • 1 tsp red chilli flakes
  • 1/4 cup cream
  • 150 ml cream
  • 2 tsp garlic, minced
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 6-7 strands saffron strands
  • 1/2 tsp salt

Instructions

  • Place the beetroots, garlic, walnuts, salt and olive oil into a processer and grind down to a smooth mixture.
  • Transfer the mixture into a medium sauce pan and place on low heat. Let the sauce cook, stirring a few times.
  • Add the milk in and cook for another 6-7 minutes.
  • Set the sauce aside.
  • Place a medium pan on the low heat with olive oil, onions and garlic.
  • Cook until fragrant and then add the spinach with the herbs, chilli flakes and salt. Let the sauce cook for at least 10 minutes and then add the cream and stir.
  • Set the sauce aside.
  • Heat a pan with the olive oil and garlic.
  • Once the garlic has almost cooked, add the saffron and stir for a few minutes.
  • Then add the cream and salt and stir well. Let the sauce cook for a few more minutes before setting aside.
  • Divide the bucatini between the three sauces to coat each strand well.
  • Similarly divide the cheeses between the three sauces and mix well.
  • Grease a 9” cake tin well with olive oil.
  • Layer the beetroot sauce pasta first and press down well. Then layer the saffron sauce mix, followed by the spinach sauce pasta.
  • Add some cheese on top and drizzle a few drops of olive oil.
  • Bake in a preheated oven for 30 minutes at 180C.
  • Remove from oven and let cool for a few minutes before turning over onto serving dish.
  • Serve by slicing the ‘cake’ into slices.