Stopped Me in My Tracks

When I have some spare time, I browse many of the food related blogs. Often I will just skim the lead article and many times I’ll only do that if there is an inviting picture. One day I ran across a picture of a rigatoni pie. It stopped me in my tracks. It looks so delicious and seemed so inventive, I knew I had to make it.

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This is a great dish for entertaining. It looks great and tastes good, but it is quite a bit of work.

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Your typical filled pasta ingredient list.

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Start with the hamburger.

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Make your meat sauce.

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The cooked pasta with some parmesan.

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I decided to fill the rigatoni differently than what was called for in the directions. I used a food syringe without the needle and filled it with the cheese. I then filled about 1/3-1/2 of each noodle.

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Once a noodle was filled, you stand them up. I had a larger springform pan so I actually needed to go buy more ingredients. Once stood up, I spread the meat sauce over, pushing it into the tubes with my fingers.

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Yummy cheese!

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With the pan removed.

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I had some extra meat sauce, so I served it on the side. Delicious, but as I said before, quite a bit of work.

Three-Cheese Rigatoni Pie

Makes: 8


  • 1 lb rigatoni (the wider, the better!)
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 lb ground beef
  • 1 28 oz. can good quality crushed tomatoes
  • 2 tbsp dry red wine
  • 1 tbsp worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tsp dried parsley
  • 1/2 tsp dried basil
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/4 tsp dried oregano
  • 1/4 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
  • salt + pepper, to taste
  • 1 1/2 cups freshly grated parmesan cheese, divided
  • 4 oz ricotta cheese
  • 1 1/2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese


bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. add the rigatoni + cook until just al dente, according to the package instructions. drain + transfer to a large bowl. stir in 1 tbsp of olive oil + set aside to let cool, while you go on to the next steps.

meanwhile, heat a large skillet over medium heat. add the beef + cook until it is no longer pink. drain the meat well + return to the skillet. stir in the crushed tomatoes, red wine, worcestershire sauce, parsley, basil, garlic powder, oregano + red pepper flakes. season with salt + pepper to taste. reduce the heat to low + simmer for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. remove about 1/4 of the sauce + put aside in a small bowl – this will be your extra sauce for serving.

preheat the oven to 400 degrees. grease or butter a 9″ springform pan.

gently stir 1 cup of grated parmesan cheese into the cooked rigatoni until well-coated. stand each piece of rigatoni up vertically in the prepared springform pan. (note: this step took me about 8 minutes). this is what this step will look like when done!

once all the rigatoni is packed vertically into the pan, gently spread the ricotta cheese on top of the rigatoni in a thin, even layer.

carefully pour the meat sauce in the skillet (not the reserved sauce) over the rigatoni. this is the most time-consuming part: with clean hands, use your fingers to carefully push the meat sauce down into the rigatoni. as you push the meat sauce down, you will also push the ricotta cheese into the rigatoni, which will help keep this dish from being dry. the more time you spend on this step, the better results you will obtain! (note: this step took me about 10 minutes).

set the springform pan on a baking sheet + bake for 15 minutes. remove from the oven. sprinkle the mozzarella cheese + 1/2 cup parmesan cheese evenly over the top. cook for another 15 minutes, until the cheese is lightly browned + bubbling.

remove the pie from the oven + allow it to stand in the springform pan for 15 minutes. then, carefully run a knife along the edge of the pan to loosen the pie. remove the sides of the springform pan, then slice, serve with extra sauce on the side, + garnish with parsley, if desired.


Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Categories: Beef, Cheese2, Italian, Lunch2, Pasta, Recipes

Author:The Ranting Chef

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7 Comments on “Stopped Me in My Tracks”

  1. Greg Geyer
    July 31, 2013 at 11:26 am #

    That is cool.


  2. July 31, 2013 at 11:36 am #

    looks great — reminds me of Timpano from the movie the “Big Night”

    there used to be a restaurant in Cleveland on the West side that served that meal.


  3. July 31, 2013 at 12:14 pm #

    Looks like it turned out awesome! And yes, it’s definitely more work than your normal rigatoni dish, but worth it once in a while when you want a show-stopping apearance! =) Amy @ Fearless Homemaker


  4. July 31, 2013 at 2:05 pm #

    I’ve seen this on Pinterest and was intrigued but it looks like quite a bit more work that I’m usually up for. Glad to know it was tasty though! I like your idea of filling the noodles with a syringe. Clever!


  5. July 31, 2013 at 9:17 pm #

    I have seen that recipe on Pinterest and it sure does look like a lot of work. Bravo to you for accomplishing this feat!


  6. August 1, 2013 at 9:37 am #

    Wow – a lot of work but the pie does make a beautiful presentation – and I loved the recipe for the sauce too – lots of good spices, not to mention the addition of red wine!!



  1. Stopped Me in My Tracks | I am: A Writer- A Single Mom of two boys – A Survivor and A Book Lover - July 31, 2013

    […] Stopped Me in My Tracks. […]


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