Thursday, May 28, 2009

Pasta Cake

A couple of months ago I came upon this recipe when searching for new pasta dishes on Martha Stewart's website. I realized I had everything I needed to make this Baked Rigatoni Cake so quickly informed my children that they'd be having cake for dinner. As you can imagine, anticipation was high that evening. And luckily, they weren't disappointed with the piece of pasta cake they were served! It's easy to make, looks impressive, and most importantly, tastes great!

The kids can help with the standing up of the helps if you stand the pan up on an angle so all of the pasta doesn't fall down after it's put in place. I made ours without the meat, and it was still very flavorful with the help of some Italian herbs.

I'm actually getting hungry for this as I type...I think we'll be having this again tonight!

  • Salt
  • 1 pound rigatoni pasta
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 pound ground meat (beef, pork, or turkey)
  • 2 garlic cloves , minced
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
  • 1 can (28 ounces) crushed tomatoes
  • Butter, for pan
  • 1 cup finely grated Parmesan cheese
  • 8 ounces coarsely grated mozzarella cheese
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Bring a large pot of water to a boil; add salt. Add pasta; cook until slightly underdone. Drain, rinse in cold water, and drain. Toss pasta with 1 tablespoon oil to coat. Set aside.
  2. Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add meat. Cook, stirring occasionally, until browned, about 10 minutes. Add garlic, 1 teaspoon salt, and pepper. Cook 2 minutes more. Add tomatoes; simmer until thickened, about 20 minutes.
  3. Butter a 9-inch springform pan. Toss pasta with Parmesan cheese. Tightly pack pasta into pan, standing each piece on end.
  4. Spread 2 cups meat sauce on top of pasta, pushing it into holes. Bake 15 minutes. Sprinkle mozzarella on top. Bake until cheese is pale golden, 10 to 15 minutes more. Remove from oven, and let stand 15 minutes. Run a knife around edge to loosen; unmold. Cut into wedges. Serve with remaining sauce.

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