Isn't this one of the coolest pasta casserole dishes you've ever laid your eyes on? Pasta Pie has a "crust" made out of meatballs and is topped with a mound of pasta. Typical Italian seasonings add the right flavor, while marinara sauce makes it complete. It's certainly a different way to eat spaghetti and meatballs, and some might say it's better.



3/4 cup Italian seasoned breadcrumbs
1/4 cup parsley, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1¼ cup freshly grated Parmigiano Reggiano cheese divided 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
3 eggs, slightly beaten
1 1/2 pound (24 ounces) ground beef
14 ounces ditalini (or other small pasta), about 5 cups cooked 1 pound (16 ounces) shredded mozzarella cheese
3 cups marinara sauce, divided


1. Spray a deep dish pie pan with cooking spray. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
2. In a large bowl, mix the bread crumbs, parsley, garlic, 1/2 cup Parmigiano cheese, salt, and pepper together until well blended. Add the eggs and ground beef and toss gently until ingredients are blended. Do not over mix. Form a crust about an inch thick with the meat mixture in the pie plate. Set aside.
3. Meanwhile, cook the ditalini pasta until just al dente. Do not overcook - the pasta needs to be slightly underdone because it will cook further in the oven. Drain the pasta.
4. In another large bowl, mix the cooked pasta with 3/4 cup of the grated Parmigiano cheese, the mozzarella cheese and 2 cups of the marinara sauce. Mix well and then pour into the meat crust, forming a high dome with the pasta. Cover with nonstick foil. Place on a foil lined sheet to prevent drips!
5. Bake for 1 1/2 hours, removing the foil the last 15 minutes to get the top a little crusty. Remove from oven and let cool 15 minutes before serving.
6. Slice into wedges and serve with the additional marinara sauce.

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