Culinary Institute $5 Veggie Pasta Pie

This savory recipe from Culinary Institute of America chef Jennifer Stack is a blend of an Italian Frittata (omelet) and a Jewish Noodle Kugel (pudding). Each serving in this pie has 360 calories and a whopping 21 grams of protein – and it can feed your family for under $5! Serve warm or cold.

Adapted from The Diabetes-Friendly Kitchen: 125 Recipes for Creating Healthy Meals

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Serves 4

Ingredients

  • 3 oz whole-wheat macaroni
  • 6 eggs
  • 2-3 carrots, finely grated
  • 2 tbsp canola oil or vegetable oil
  • 2 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
  • 14 1/2 oz low-salt diced tomatoes
  • 10 oz frozen, chopped spinach, thawed and squeezed dry
  • 3 oz reduced fat cheese, shredded
  • salt
  • pepper

Directions

Preheat oven to 375˚F. Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to boil and cook the macaroni according to package directions. Drain the pasta and set aside.

Whisk 2 eggs in a bowl and add 1/3 of the grated carrot and 1/3 of the cooked macaroni. Season with salt and pepper. Heat 1 teaspoon of the oil in a non-stick skillet, add the egg mixture and cook over medium low heat until the eggs are set but not dry. Slide this noodle “pancake” onto a greased cookie sheet and keep warm. Repeat this process two more times to create a total of 3 noodle layers.

Add 1 teaspoon oil to the skillet and sauté 1 clove garlic until soft. Add the canned tomatoes, season with salt and pepper and cook until the juice has evaporated and the tomatoes are almost dry. Set aside and repeat the process with an additional teaspoon of oil, the remaining clove of garlic and the spinach.

Add the first noodle pancake, browned side down, to a greased pie plate. Top with the cooked spinach and add 1 ounce of the shredded cheese. Add a second noodle pancake and top with the tomatoes and 1 ounce shredded cheese. Top with the final noodle pancake, browned side up, and remaining shredded cheese.

Bake in oven for 10 minutes. Cut into wedges and serve hot or cold.