Simply put, this homemade pasta pie is comfort food heaven. Kind of like a re-imagined baked ziti, it includes all of the classic Italian flavors you crave: tomato sauce, freshly cooked rigatoni and plenty of cheese, delivered in a clever and beautiful package. The perfect party food!
Homemade Rigatoni Pasta PieYield: 8 servings
1. Do Your Prep
Preheat the oven to 400 F. Generously oil or butter the bottom and sides of a 9″ springform pan.
2. Make the Pasta
Cook the rigatoni. Follow the package instructions, but slightly undercook it. For instance, if the packaging calls for 12 minutes of boiling, only cook it for about 10. (Since you’ll be combining the rigatoni with wet ingredients and baking it later, you want to leave a little room for it to absorb more moisture later on.)
3. Mix it Up
Strain the cooked rigatoni and transfer to a large mixing bowl. Add the olive oil, parmesan cheese, ricotta, about 1 ounce of the grated mozzarella, and the salt. Stir to combine; the pasta should be evenly coated.
4. Assemble the Pie
Line the edge of the greased baking pan with the rigatoni, aligned so that it is standing up. (We found that starting with the perimeter of the pan and then filling it in from there was the easiest method.) Pack it in pretty tightly. Then, spoon the sauce on top of the rigatoni, and use a spoon to gently push the sauce into the individual tubes of pasta.
5. Bake It
Place your springform pan on top of a baking sheet, and put it in the oven. Bake for 15 minutes, then carefully remove from the oven. Sprinkle the remaining mozzarella evenly on top, and return back to the oven. Bake for 10-15 minutes more, or until the cheese is pleasingly golden.
6. Finish and Serve
Remove from the oven, and let stand for about 15 minutes. Run a knife along the edges of the pan to loosen any stuck edges, then remove the sides of the springform.
Take a few moments to ooh and ahh and collect compliments from everyone in attendance. Slice into fat wedges to serve.