…a PASTA pie.
Take a look:
Contrary to the evidence on Double Batch, I DO make ‘real’ food…I’m just not much for photographing and documenting it. By the time the meal is made it’s hardly ever convenient to take the time to have even a brief photo food session. It’s time to eat, not take pictures! I’m not committing to much, but my goal is one a month. And yes, I do realize it’s just a few hours before the month expires. Enough about that.
So, the ingredients for this recipe are really nothing special. It’s a basic, good tasting pasta bake really. In this case, it’s ALL about the presentation. Sure, it takes a little longer than just pouring pasta, meat and sauce into a baking dish, but I have to say it was worth it.
It all started with a little cooked rigatoni. Not cooked all the way though. Those little tubes will fall apart on you if you let ‘em go too long.
Ah…finished and packed in tight.
Pushing the sauce into every little rigatoni was strangely relaxing. A good spoon and clean fingers did the trick. A little time consuming, but easy and mindless.
After a little heat from the oven it was time to add the topping. Think whipping cream on a ‘real’ pie. This time though it was mozzarella.
And after some more time in the oven. It was baked to a golden goodness.
So, some of the rigatoni apparently didn’t get filled all the way. I like a few of those crater-like holes.
Here’s an inside peek. Love it!
One day we’ll be able to add a scent button on our blogs to really entice readers to run to the kitchen and get cooking. Until then, you’ll just have to take my word that this is a tasty, creative and FUN dish to make. Who doesn’t love pie after all?
Adapted from Martha Stewart
1 pound rigatoni
2 Tablespoons olive oil, divided
1 pound Italian sausage (or ground beef if you like…)
2 garlic cloves, crushed
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
1 can (28 ounces) good quality crushed tomatoes (Love those Cento tomatoes!)
1 cup finely grated Parmesan cheese
8 ounces coarsely grated mozzarella
In a large pot of salted boiling water, cook pasta until slightly underdone (I cooked mine for 12 minutes when the box said 14 minutes). When done, rinse in cold water and drain again. Toss pasta with 1 Tablespoon olive oil to coat. Set aside.
Heat remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add Italian sausage. Cook, stirring occasionally until browned. Add garlic, 1 teaspoon salt and pepper. Cook 2 minutes more.
Add crushed tomatoes; simmer until thickened, about 20 minutes.
Toss pasta with Parmesan cheese. Grease a 9-inch springform pan. Tightly pack pasta into pan, standing each piece on end. Spread meat sauce on top of pasta.
Push the meat sauce into the pasta holes filling each one up. Time consuming — yes. Worth it? Definitely.
Place in a 400 degree oven for 15 minutes. Sprinkle mozzarella cheese on top and bake another 10-15 minutes until cheese is golden. Remove from oven and let stand for 15 minutes. Run a knife around the edge to loosen and then unmold.
Cut into wedges and serve with any remaining meat sauce you might have.