When the moon hits your eye like a big pasta pie, that’s amore..
Sorry, that’s been in my head on loop since early this morning when I decided it was high time I shared this recipe. It wouldn’t be fair for me to suffer alone!
I originally came across this recipe on Pinterest and was intrigued by it. Essentially pasta with meat sauce, this dish is prepared and served different to what you’d expect. It looked neat and when I did some digging for the recipe I learned that it’s a Martha Stewart recipe. If you’re not aware, I heart Martha. So, trying this dish seemed like a no brainer. I did, however, make some adjustments. Here’s my version..
- 1 pound rigatoni, uncooked
- 2 Tbsp olive oil, divided
- 1 lb mild Italian sausage, casings removed
- 2 garlic gloves, minced
- 1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
- 1/8 tsp sugar
- 1/2 bell pepper, finely diced
- 1 shallot, finely diced
- 1 28 oz can whole tomatoes
- butter, for pan
- salt and pepper, to taste
- 1 c parmesan cheese, finely grated
- 1 c italian blend cheese (mozzarella, provolone, parmesan), grated
- Cook pasta in a large pot according to package directions, less 1-2 minutes (to prevent over-cooking later on). Drain, rinse in cold water and drain again. Toss pasta with 1 Tbsp olive oil to coat. Set aside.
- Heat remaining 1 Tbsp olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add Italian sausage and red pepper flakes. Cook, stirring occasionally until browned, ensuring that the meat is broken down into tiny pieecs. Drain. Add garlic, bell pepper, shallot, salt and pepper. Cook 2 minutes more.
- Add crushed tomatoes and sugar; simmer until thickened, about 20 minutes.
- Toss pasta with parmesan cheese. butter a 9-inch spring form pan. tightly pack pasta into pan, standing each piece on end.
- Spread meat sauce on top of pasta. Using the back end of a spoon (or your pinky, whichever is easier), push the meat sauce into the pasta holes filling each one up. or, if you’re me.. lose your patience after a few minutes and cram whatever you can into whatever pasta tube it fits.. giving up after 10 minutes.
- Place in a 400 degree oven for 15 minutes.
- Sprinkle Italian cheese blend on top and bake another 10-15 minutes until cheese is golden.
- Remove from oven and let stand for 15 minutes.
- Run a sharp knife around the edge to loosen and then un-mold. Cut into wedges and serve.