One of the things I truly love about Facebook, aside from being able to stay connected to family & friends both near and far, is the food pictures and/or recipes which inspire me to get into the kitchen and try them out. Most recently, a childhood friend posted a photo of her rigatoni pie, and it was seriously so pretty, I had to try to make it for that reason alone (well, it also looked delicious). I searched online and found quite a few recipes, and went with two I wanted to modify. Since I knew this pie was going to be a bit labor-intensive, and in the interest of time, I decided to use store-bought pasta sauce instead of making my own, but by all means, if you make a mean sauce, go ahead and use that. I am thrilled to report that this pie turned out amazing and absolutely scrumptious!
- 1 lb. rigatoni pasta
- 1 jar (24 oz.) pasta sauce (I used Bertoli Italian Sausage Garlic & Romano)
- 1 1/2 cups freshly grated Parmesan cheese, divided
- 1 cup grated mozzarella cheese
- 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
- 15 oz. ricotta cheese
- 1 egg
- 1 tsp basil
- 1 tsp oregano
- Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the rigatoni and cook until al dente (12 minutes for my pasta). Drain the pasta, rinse in cold water and drain again. Stir in 1 tbsp of the olive oil and set aside. (This keeps the pasta from sticking.)
- Preheat oven to 350°F.
- Gently stir 1 cup of the grated Parmesan cheese into the cooked rigatoni.
- Stand the rigatoni up vertically in a greased 9″ springform pan, using the entire pound of cooked pasta.
- In a small mixing bowl, combine the ricotta, egg, remaining 1/2 cup Parmesan, basil, and oregano until smooth. Set aside.
- Use a pastry bag, or put a zip lock bag inside a tall glass, and fill the bag with the cheese mixture. Close the bag and snip the corner of the bag and pipe a decent amount into each noodle (don’t fill all the way).
- After piping the noodles with the cheese mixture, carefully pour about 3/4 of the jar of sauce over the whole top and push down as much as possible. (I wanted to save some sauce to heat up and use later for leftovers.)
- Top with the mozzarella and cheddar cheese.
- Put the springform pan on a baking sheet and place in the oven. Cook for 20 minutes, or until the cheese has fully melted.
- Remove from the oven and allow it to stand in the springform pan for about 15 minutes. Carefully run a knife along the edge of the pan to loosen the pie from the pan, then remove the sides.
- Slice the pie and garnish with parsley, if desired.
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