Pasta Pie

Fair warning: this could not be classified as a quick and easy dinner. Not that it was difficult, but oh so time-consuming. If you've got some teens who like to cook, you've got it made. Or if you have more patience than I, go for it. Cathy at Noble Pig thought stuffing the rigatoni with the sauce was a "weirdly satisfying task". Hah!  Not so. Tedious and boring was my take.

What balances tedious out is the clever pasta pie idea and it's a fun presentation; I've been wanting to make this since I first saw it, so I'm relieved I got it out of my system. If I had made the whole recipe, I'd still be in the kitchen. I used my 6 1/2 inch springform pan, so I cut this recipe in half. Cathy calls for a 9 inch pan, which is the recipe below. The smaller pan would serve about 5-6 people, depending on the size of the wedges you cut, so the bigger one maybe 10. Let me know if you've ever made it....I'd love to know if you found fatter rigatoni; I could barely stuff my little finger in those holes! But if you have some smaller hands available for this chore, set them to work.! That's the answer. Little fingers. 

Pasta Pie
From Cathy at Noble Pig

1 pound rigatoni
2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
1 pound ground beef (I used ground sirloin)
2 garlic gloves, crushed
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
1 can (28 ounces) good quality crushed tomatoes
Butter, for pan
1 cup Parmesan cheese, finely grated
8 ounces coarsely grated mozzarella cheese

In a large pot of salted boiling water, cook pasta until slightly underdone. One pound of pasta should be cooked in 6 quarts of water, make sure you are using a big enough pot so the pasta doesn't stick together. 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 ground beef. 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. Butter 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. (good luck with that)
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.


  1. Looks like a very comforting dish, but I can see how it would take a lot of time. I made lasagna once, from scratch, and that was the end of that.

    Have a nice weekend Barbara.

  2. Fabulous and mouthwatering! I am a big fan of pasta pies.



  3. I have seen this also and thought wow..I'd like to make that..
    I have seen thicker rigatoni I am almost positive..The patience of a sant as Jacques would say:)

  4. Yum! It does look a little tedious, but the end result definitely seems worth it!


  5. Oh my! Eataly has larger rigatoni and you can order online. I wonder if it would be possible to put the mixture into a baster and squeeze it in. Love the idea and presentation.


  6. I can see why it took so long, but what a gorgeous presentation!

  7. Wow! It looks delicious!!! And I'd love to eat it, but not make it. There is no way I'd have enough patience to try it. You did a great job, it's very impressive Barbara! Have a good weekend!

  8. I remember the first time I saw it I wanted to make it too. I still haven't, though. Maybe I'll just admire yours knowing the work involved :) It is beautiful and I'm sure so delicious. Perfect for a special occasion.

  9. I remember when I saw this on Cathy's blog and thought it looked good. I know I don't have the patience to do it!

  10. Fascinating, but for a change, I'm ever so grateful the Knight isn't home; had he seen this, he'd want me to try it and I don't have the time (or patience)!

  11. What a fantastic idea, never would have thought of it! Looks so good :D

    Choc Chip Uru

  12. This look amazing Barbara!! Love this idea!!

  13. This looks great, but I may wait until I visit the Noble Pig to give it a try!

  14. This pasta pie looks so cool! I must give it a try too.

  15. That really does look incredible, and well worth the extra work!!

  16. Dear Barbara.

    The pasta pie looks delicious and a great idea - will remember this when I am thinking of something different to make.
    Hope all is well and you are enjoying the weekend

  17. What a beautiful "pie" Barbara, I bet your kitchen smelled wonderful.

  18. That does look like a fun and delicious pasta pie! I don't know that I'd have the patience to do it by hand though. Maybe putting the filling in a frosting bag would work? It would be worth a try! :)

  19. It looks worth the effort and sounds delicious.

  20. I can't believe your did it. Youza, that's a lot of work. I think I would skip it if I didn't have a giant pasta and a pastry bag that could fill them. I It looks amazing and surely would impress your guests like mad! Well done Barbara.

  21. Thanks for your honest assessment of the preparation process but it looks really delicious with the yummy, crusty, cheesy edges! I'm saving this for our next rainy day & will pair it with a nice Barbera d'Asti - thanks for sharing ~ Cheers:)

  22. this is REALLY impressive and beautiful! i hardly ever have that kind of time, but i'll definitely remember this one for the future!

  23. Wow, I'm impressed Barbara. The patience of a saint! But the result is really kind of spectacular. I'll wait for my grandson to get a little older, and then I'll put those little fingers to work!

  24. Barbara, when I saw the first image I was like "wow...filling the little holes with meat", yes, and I had to laugh as I continued reading your post...indeed lots of patience...looks pretty and impressive!
    Enjoy your week :)

  25. Good job with the patience Barbara. I'm sure it was worth it. I think I have seen bigger pasta but can't remember where. I just made some appetizer hearts that took a little patience so I know what you are talking about. Sometimes I think, "Why am I doing this for my blog?" But really, it is a challenge that I love.

  26. Good job with the patience Barbara. I'm sure it was worth it. I think I have seen bigger pasta but can't remember where. I just made some appetizer hearts that took a little patience so I know what you are talking about. Sometimes I think, "Why am I doing this for my blog?" But really, it is a challenge that I love.



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