Hello beautiful! There’s a Chinese saying we eat first with our eyes, then our noses, then our mouths. I believe that’s true. If a dish is aesthetically pleasing we’re more tempted to try it. I mean, how often do we say, “boy that looks good!” or “that sure looks tasty!”? Well, this Rigatoni Cheese Pie is definitely a looker. Both my green-eyed Irish guy and G wholeheartedly approved of both the beauty and the deliciousness of this dish.
It takes a little bit of patience to stand all the rigatoni pasta upright in the springform pan. Remember patience is a virtue. I’ve added a link to my go-to pasta sauce recipe. Now let’s create this work of art!
Rigatoni Cheese Pie
1 lb. box rigatoni pasta
1 recipe of my homemade pasta sauce found here
1 Tbs. olive oil
1 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese
8 oz. pkg. (2 cups) finely shredded mozzarella cheese
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Spray a 9 inch springform pan with non-stick cooking spray (I used the olive oil kind). Bring 3-4 quarts of water to a boil in a large pot. Season liberally with salt. Add pasta and stir until it comes to a boil. Cook according to package directions to no more than al dente. The pasta will cook more when it’s baked. Drain pasta. Rinse with cold water and drain again. Sprinkle with the olive oil and parmesan cheese and stir until all of the pasta is coated with oil and cheese. Arrange the pasta noodles in the springform pan, standing them upright. Spoon half of the sauce over the noodles, reserving the rest to be served with the pie if desired. Carefully push as much sauce into the noodle holes as possible. Place the springform pan on a baking sheet. Bake for 15 minutes. Remove from oven and sprinkle with the mozzarella cheese. Return to the oven and bake for 15-20 minutes or until cheese is melted, bubbly and browned. Let stand in the pan for at least 15 minutes before removing the springform pan ring. Place on a plate or platter and cut into wedges to serve.
Wishing you love, laughter and cake,