Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Braided Spaghetti Bread

You ever look into your pantry and wonder what to make for dinner, and think, "oh, not the same old thing all over again?" I do. I get bored with food easily.

 My cool sister-in-law-ish once made a braided spaghetti bread and told me about it. I thought it sounded kind of weird, but just think of the awesome convenience of garlic bread and spaghetti TOGETHER! Not to mention the fun. Go talk to people about it, and see their facial reactions. That makes it even more fun.

 I decided to try it out for myself, being an unrepentant lover of carbohydrates and breads. I had spaghetti on hand, but I wanted to use bowtie pasta instead. I liked how it looked, I like that it's small. So, technically, "braided spaghetti bread" is something of a misnomer. I'm okay with that. Check it out!


 Doesn't it look delicious? It may not be healthy, but it is entirely plant-based. I made my dough using flour, oil, salt and yeast. I let it rise, rolled it out into a rough rectangle, and filled it with my pasta and sauce. The bread I made just may be a post unto itself, as it was also an adventure.

 For the pasta sauce, I sauteed a finely chopped purple onion, 2-3 cloves of garlic minced and a large can of crushed tomatoes. Then I finely chopped 8 oz. if button mushrooms and one 15-oz. can of black olives. These I mixed into the sauce, and let continue to simmer. Season as you wish. I use salt, freshly ground black pepper, cayenne pepper and maybe some Italian seasonings. I poured the sauce over cooked noodles and stirred and let it set for a while. Once the dough was rolled out, I placed large (over-stuffed) portions of pasta in the center. Then, I cut slits in the dough on either side, from the edge to about an inch from where the pasta was. I cut as many one the one side as on the other. I tucked the top and the bottom of the dough over the pasta, then "braided" the dough strips all the way down. I put garlic salt in oil and brushed the top of the braided bread with it. This went into a 325 oven for 25 minutes.

It was totally fun to make, and really tasty. I loved it so much I made more just about two weeks later. On the repeat experience, since I was cooking for meat eaters, I did layer some cheese over the pasta before I braided the bread. Delightful.

 On a recent similar experience with spaghetti, we did not have any normal bread to make garlic bread. We did have hamburger buns, which were toasted in the oven with garlic salt and butter. So we made spaghetti burgers! Even though it's silly and probably a bit more messy, it is so much fun to try. Both of these different takes on a "boring" spaghetti dinner will get raves at home! Try them!