I could pretty much eat pasta every day for the rest of my life. I love it so much. One of my favorite pastas ever is manicotti – and this stuffed rigatoni is basically just a version of that. I think I first saw this ‘pie’ done by Martha Stewart and I was really struck by the creativity of it. Now that I’ve made it, I know that it’s not just creative – it’s delicious! I stuffed the pasta with cheese, then topped it all with a meaty sauce. It came out perfectly, the shredded Parmesan really does hold the pasta together, and a springform pan is a must. For guaranteed oohs and awes at dinner time, just set this on the table – trust me.
from: ben rayl, in copenhagen dk
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- rigatoni pasta - 1 pound (500 g)
- parmesan - 1 cup, finely grated
- for the filling:
- ricotta - 1 8 oz (250 g) container
- mozzarella - 1 cup, finely grated
- parmesan - 1/2 cup, finely grated
- eggs - 2, beaten
- parsley - 1 tsp
- for the sauce:
- olive oil - 1 tbsp
- turkey - 1 pound, ground or ground beef
- salt and pepper - use very generously
- garlic cloves - 3, minced
- italian herbs - 2 tbsp
- crushed red pepper - 1 tsp
- crushed tomatoes - 2 14 oz (400 g) cans, with juices
- mozzarella - 1 1/2 cups, shredded
- Preheat oven to 400 F (200 C).
- Cook the rigatoni in boiling water, about 1 minute less than package directions. Drain then toss with the parmesan cheese in a large bowl.
- Lightly oil a 9" springform pan and pack the rigatoni in tightly, standing on their ends.
to make the filling:
- In a medium bowl, mix together the ricotta, mozzarella, parmesan, eggs and parsley until well combined, then set aside.
to make the sauce:
- Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium high heat, add the ground turkey or beef and cook until browned.
- Season with salt and pepper, then stir in the garlic, italian herbs, and crushed red pepper. Cook for another minute or two.
- Add the crushed tomatoes and simmer over medium heat until most of the liquid has cooked away - about 20 minutes.
- While the sauce is cooking, fill the rigatoni with the cheese filling. Use a pastry tube to pipe the filling into the noodles, filling each one about 1/2 full. (if you have a problem getting the mixture through a pastry tube, you can blend it with a hand held blender to make it smooth enough to pass through.)
- When the meat sauce is done, ladle it on top of the rigatoni, pushing it down a bit to fill up the remaining space in the noodles.
- Bake in the oven for about 15 minutes, then remove and sprinkle over the mozzarella cheese.
- Return to the oven and cook for about 15 more minutes, until the cheese is bubbly and beginning to brown.
- Let rest about 15 minutes before removing the form and serving.