THREE CHEESE RIGATONI PIE
BY: AMY FROM FEARLESS HOMEMAKER
You've probably never had Italian casserole recipes like this one before. Three Cheese Rigatoni Pie is actually made in a springform pan by standing each rigatoni vertically in the pan. Ground beef and tomato sauce fill in the holes, while cheese covers the entire top of the pie. This unique pasta casserole is as fun to make as it is to eat. Put it on tonight's menu!
1 pound rigatoni
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 pound ground beef
1 (28-ounce) can crushed tomatoes 2 tablespoons dry red wine
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce 1 teaspoon dried parsley
1/2 teaspoon dried basil
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
Salt, to taste
Pepper, to taste
1 1/2 cups Parmesan cheese, freshly grated, divided 4-ounce ricotta cheese
1 1/2 cups mozzarella cheese, shredded
1. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add rigatoni and cook until just al dente. Drain and transfer to a large bowl. Stir in 1 tablespoon of olive oil and set aside to let cool.
2. Meanwhile, heat a large skillet over medium heat. Add ground beef and cook until it is no longer pink. Drain the meat well and return to the skillet. Stir in the crushed tomatoes, red wine, Worcestershire sauce, parsley, basil, garlic powder, oregano, and red pepper flakes. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Reduce the heat to low and simmer for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove about 1/4 of the sauce + put aside in a small bowl – this will be your extra sauce for serving.
3. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Grease or butter a 9-inch springform pan.
4. Gently stir 1 cup of Parmesan cheese into the cooked rigatoni until well-coated. Stand each piece of rigatoni up vertically in the prepared springform pan. (Note: this step took me about 8 minutes)
5. Once all of the rigatoni is packed vertically into the pan, gently spread the ricotta cheese on top of the rigatoni in a thin, even layer.
6. Carefully pour the meat sauce in the skillet (not the reserved sauce) over the rigatoni. This is the most time-consuming part: with clean hands, use your fingers to carefully push the meat sauce down into the rigatoni. As you push the meat sauce down, you will also push the ricotta cheese into the rigatoni, which will help keep this dish from being dry. The more time you spend on this step, the better results you will obtain.
(Note: this step took me about 10 minutes)
7. Set the springform pan on a baking sheet and bake for 15 minutes. Remove from the oven. Sprinkle the mozzarella cheese and 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese evenly over the top. Cook for another 15 minutes, until the cheese is lightly browned and bubbling.
8. Remove the pie from the oven and allow it to stand in the springform pan for 15 minutes. Then, carefully run a knife along the edge of the pan to loosen the pie. Remove the sides of the springform pan, then slice, serve with extra sauce on the side, and garnish with parsley, if desired.