Even more than the age old question…..What the “Forks” for Dinner? is What the “Fork ” to do with leftovers??????
We always seem to have leftovers that after about a week, need to take a trip to the trash. This is where I really have to watch my husband…….Tim has no sense of smell, so he can’t tell when something’s time has passed. I really hate to throw things out, but we are only two people, and you can only eat a recipe so many times before…….ugh! Even if it was the best thing you ever ate.
I can never make the correct amount of spaghetti……..I always make wayyyyyyyyy too much. So, in an effort to use the leftovers, I racked my brain……what, what, what can I do with with this glob of leftover spaghetti. I know……but really with all the starch…..then it gets cold……..it’s a big glob. I remembered the Italian Spaghetti Meatball Burger we made back in September…….the one that uses the spaghetti as the bun. Why not use the spaghetti as the crust for a pizza?????
In our last post “we” shared our……..yes we both made an Italian Beef recipe, and since we couldn’t decide which one was better so, we posted them both!
Now, what to do with the left overs………???????? Ahhh………. but of course… pizza!!
We eat pizza…….a lot………I mean like two or three times a week a lot. I have discovered one thing in writing this blog………days I am not making a recipe, I don’t want to cook anything too difficult and I really don’t want to have to clean up the kitchen……ugh!
This is where I will tell you, Tim is a dish washing man!!!! He does dishes all the time, and for that I pledge to him my eternal gratefulness………..I hate to do dishes!!!!
But, the original idea for this pizza came form Tim and the Italian Beef recipe. So, all the credit for the idea goes to my wonderful husband. I must say the pizza is a total winner!
A pre-made crust……..I am a huge fan of the Boboli Pizza crust, either thin or original. I use them all the time……..simple, tasty and you can have one on hand for an impromptu pizza night.
We topped the crust with a jarred marinara sauce, but use your own recipe if you wish, same with the pizza crust, you can make your own homemade if you have the time, or the inclination……….the day I made this I had neither…….lol.
Chunks of the juicy Italian beef went on next. Sliced colored peppers, I used red, orange, and yellow, but any color will do………really, I just didn’t have any green ones…….my bad. I can’t believe I just used that term…….I really don’t like it……but it fit.
Onions came next, then I used the pepperocini peppers from the Italian Beef, onto the pizza too, they were cooked in all that yummy juice and added an bit of spiciness, like a warm, comfy spice not a blazing hot burn your mouth spice.
Covered with sliced provolone cheese and into the oven……….25 minute later………..heaven on a pizza stone! A note on pizza stones, for me Pampered Chef has the best one around. I have had mine for years and it keeps getting better with age. The darker the stone the better it cooks.
It was sooooo good! Tim and I ate half for lunch and the other half for a late night snack. I was just as good the second time around.
So, after you decide whose Italian Beef recipes is better…….wink, wink……..try the Italian Beef and Pepper Pizza with the left overs………it will make your mouth happy!!!
There are no words or pictures that can describe how truly awesome this Italian Spaghetti and Meatball Burger is………but of course we will try!
I was home one day and I was watching “The Chew”. The show that day was about burgers. They did all different kinds of recipes for burgers , but the one that caught my eye was for a spaghetti burger. They went to a place called PYT’s in Philadelphia, where the burger originated. It looked really good and not to hard to make.
Like all things that catch your eye sometimes it’s just a flash in the pan and you don’t think about it again. I just could not get this burger out of my mind. I kept telling Tim that I really wanted to make it. After some repeated discussion, and after Tim’s suggestion that we make the burger out of Italian sausage we began the Italian Spaghetti and Meatball Burger.
The burger part is fairly straight forward. Italian sausage, seasonings, egg, panko crumbs, mix, shape into eight patties then a little surprise in the center…….mini mozzarella balls, smush them down a little bit, otherwise it looks a little funny……lol. Top with another patty and seal the edges. and grill or pan fry.
The bun is a different story. PTY’s will not give the secret for how they shape the burgers. So, I improvised. If you have seen the Ramen Noodle Burger…..the one that the bun is made from ramen noodles, they use ramekins and place a can on top for weight. That was originally my plan for these burgers. But, at the grocery store there was a clearance rack……..by the way, I am a sucker for clearance or sale items……Tim is nodding ……….It was grill stuff, and I spied a burger press… if you can press a burger why not the bun…..made of spaghetti. Seemed easier than 8 ramekins. All I can say is, if you have one or can get one, the burger press is perfect for this recipe. If not the ramekins will work too.
At PTY’s they bake their buns but, I used a flat skillet sprayed with coconut oil. Worked like a charm. They are crispy on the outside and chewy inside. I must say using the spaghetti as a bun was a a stroke of genius that I would not have thought of, but I am glad PTY’s did!
To say this burgers exceeded expectations is an understatement! They were like a big plate of spaghetti and meatballs….only better….way better!
There is a line in the movie Pulp Fiction when Samuel L. Jackson takes a bite from a burger of a guy he is about to shoot, and he says ” thats a tasty “forking” (our word) burger……..
In the case of the Italian Spaghetti and Meatball Burger we think that is true!
1 tablespoon shredded Parmesan Cheese (plus more for finishing)
8 fresh baby mozzarella balls in marinade
Salt and Pepper
3 cups Marinara (heated for serving)
Place spaghetti in a large pot and bring to a boil. Cook until just past al dente so that the sticky
consistency will help the spaghetti form tighter buns. Drain and allow the pasta to cool, making
sure the pasta is completely drained (excess water can affect the formation of the bun). Spread pasta on a parchment lined cookie sheet to help cool.
Once pasta is cooled and dry, combine it with the eggs, oregano, basil, garlic, salt and pepper in a bowl. Portion the pasta mixture into 8 equal parts (about 2 ounces each).
Form the pasta into patties. I used a burger press, but you can also spray ramekin cups, spray with cooking spray, place pasta mixture in cup and cover with plastic wrap. Using cans from your cupboard, place one can on each covered ramekin ( the weight of the can will compress the pasta). Once patties have been formed, refrigerate for an hour or until firm. To cook you can either lay the firm spaghetti buns on a well greased pan and bake at 350F for about 20 minutes, or until golden brown on the outer edge but with a firm bite in the center. Or you can cook them on a flat griddle or skillet sprayed with cooking spray, over medium high heat until golden brown.
Combine the egg, panko crumbs, salt, pepper, herbs, garlic and parmesan cheese with the Italian sausage. Separate the ground beef mixture into 8 equal portions (about 2.5 ounces each). Press each portions out evenly into a patty shape, making sure there are no tears in the meat. Lay out all the pressed patties on a sheet tray and place 2 of the mini mozzarella balls (slightly squeezed so they lay flat) in the center of four of the patties.
Using the remaining patties, cover each cheese topped patty so the cheese remains in the center. Pinch together the edges of the patties to seal in the cheese. Place in refrigerator until ready to cook. Cook the stuffed meatball patties medium well to ensure that the cheese has melted.
To assemble :
Place each meatball burger on a spaghetti bun and top with Marinara sauce and a sprinkle of Parmesan cheese. Top with second spaghetti bun and ENJOY!
Note: I used a cut spaghetti called Fideo, I found it easier to handle and shape.