Having an Italian boyfriend means a lot of pasta dishes are prepared in my kitchen. If I give him the choice, we would have pasta almost everyday. Don’t take me wrong, I love pasta, but I also love other foods and to try new recipes. During one of these moments when I really wanted to try something different, I saw a photo for rigatoni pie. It’s pasta, meat and tomato sauce but served in a very different way 🙂 just what I needed!
What for me was something new seemed to be quite a common thing around the internet world. When I searched for the recipe online I got hundreds of results! Well I guess I’m a bit late then 🙂 And now, which one to choose? The dish is always the same but there’s small differences in all recipes! So I ended up checking through a few of the options available and try to find the best combination for me.
After a few days of research (yes, days!!) I came up with this recipe and method which I will share with you. I found this extensive research very useful. I had quite a few question in my head: how will I get the rigatoni to stay up on the tin, what size of rigatoni to get, how thick should I get the sauce to be, etc, etc, etc… And I think I managed to get all my answers, at least for a first try. What can I tell you? Try to get the largest rigatoni you find, this will allow the sauce to easily get inside them. Leave the cheese mixture and the meat sauce a bit runny so it easier to slide inside the pasta. The recipe below is actually a mixture of steps from several ones I found around the net. Ans I must say: it came out really nice and the boyfriend was happy 🙂
- 1/2 onion diced
- 3 cloves garlic minced
- 450 g minced beef
- 450 g minced pork
- 1/2 cup red wine
- 1 small can crushed tomatoes
- Bunch basil leaves
- 450 g ricotta cheese
- 1 egg
- 1 kg rigatoni pasta
- Grated mozzarella & parmesan cheese
- Preheat the oven - 200C
- Saute the onion until translucent (5-7 min).
- Add the garlic. Stir frequently to avoid burning (2-3 min)
- Add the meat and stir until is no longer pink.
- Season with salt & pepper. Turn the heat to medium-high and add the wine. Allow the wine to evaporate (5-10 min)
- Stir in the tomatoes. Place the basil leaves on the surface of the sauce and allow it to wilt.
- Push the basil under the surface of the sauce and simmer for 10 min.
- Remove the basil. Cover the pan partially and simmer for at least 1 hour. If it dries, add water.
- Cool at room temperature before using it on the pie.
- Mix the ricotta with the egg..
- Under cook the rigatoni by 3 min.
- Cool to room temperature. Toss with olive oil and parmesan cheese.
- Hold a spring form pan at a slight angle and arrange the pasta so that they rest one against the other. Fill the pan completely and force in a couple of extra ones where possible so that there is a tight, uniform fit.
- Spread the ricotta mixture over the full surface of the rigatoni. Spread the meat mixture on top of the ricotta. Press both mixtures down with a spatula so that they sink into the pasta.
- Bake for 15 min. Sprinkle shredded mozzarella over the surface of the pie. Bake for another 15 min until the cheese turns golden.
- Allow to rest 15 min before removing the spring and slicing it.