Spaghetti Pie: probably not Stanley Tucci approved

Different recipes can evoke specific memories. For Gail Simmons, this spaghetti pie reminds her of backpacking across New Zealand and Australia at 19, eating at little roadside stops along the way

“I can go through every trip we ever went on and tell you what we did, based on what we ate there,” says Top Chef judge and cook Gail Simmons. As a young woman, Simmons traveled the world– hitchhiking, bartending, backpacking. But a particular roadside snack in New Zealand inspired this week’s recipe, her ‘Spaghetti Pie.’

During her time in Oceania, Simmons says she’d stop into little truck stop diners and for $1.75, she’d grab– what she calls– ‘a sexy, sexy spaghetti sandwich.’ It’s exactly what it sounds like: overcooked noodles, drenched in marinara sauce, slapped between two pieces of white bread and toasted, “which, when you’re 19, is pretty awesome.”

From those side-of-the-road cheap eats to her first cookbook, Simmons drew on these defining moments in her left to craft thoughtful, down-home recipes that reflect her life and career that’s put food and the kitchen at the heart of all her experiences.

This ‘Spaghetti Pie’ is an homage to those comforting, pressed sammies down under. Although, Evan points out a timballo is roughly the Italian equivalent to her pie, Simmons adds, “I don’t think Stanley Tucci would approve” of this Italian-crossover recipe. Enjoy!

Excerpted from BRINGING IT HOME Favorite Recipes from a Life of Adventurous Eating by Gail Simmons.  Copyright © 2017 by Gail Simmons.  Reprinted with permission from Grand Central Life & Style.  All rights reserved.