Pasta Pi Pie

Monday, March 15, 2010

In honor of Pi Day (3.14) I decided it was only fitting to make Pasta Pie.

This recipe of course comes from the genius of Martha. Yes, that Martha.  Really it isn't that difficult to make and I'm sure if you wanted to be creative you could adapt it many ways - thinking chicken and an Alfredo sauce maybe?  The presentation is definitely a wow factor - I know my kids thought it was pretty neat.

Pasta Pie
Adapted from Martha Stewart

1 pound rigatoni
2 TB olive oil, divided
1 pound ground beef (I used ground sirloin)
2 garlic cloves, crushed
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
1 jar spaghetti sauce (+ 2 TB salted water from boiling pasta)
Butter, for pan
1 cup finely grated Parmesan cheese
8 ounces coarsely grated mozzarella

In a large pot of salted boiling water, cook pasta until slightly underdone (approx 12 minutes) When done, rinse in cold water and drain again. Toss pasta with 1 Tablespoon olive oil to coat. Set aside.

Heat remaining 1 Tablespoon olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add ground beef. Cook, stirring occasionally until browned. Add garlic, 1 teaspoon salt and pepper. Cook 2 minutes more. Add spaghetti sauce and heat through.

Toss pasta with Parmesan cheese. Butter a 9-inch springform pan. Tightly pack pasta into pan, standing each piece on end. Spread meat sauce on top of pasta. Push the meat sauce into the pasta holes filling each one up.  (I did this in steps - spread some sauce over, push meat into pasta, then I tapped the pan on the counter a couple times and repeated the process until I had used up all the meat sauce.)

Place in a 400 degree oven for 15 minutes. Sprinkle mozzarella cheese on top and bake another 10-15 minutes until cheese is golden. Remove from oven and let stand for 15 minutes. Run a knife around the edge to loosen and then unmold. Cut into wedges and serve.

Check out Noble Pig's pictorial step by step version of this recipe.
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