Pasta Pie

Using freshly ground beef makes for a lighter meat crust. If you want a spicy pasta pie, use marinara sauce with a little red hot chili pepper.

serves 8

  • 1 cup fresh bread crumbs
  • ¼ cup finely chopped parsley
  • 1 small onion, finely chopped
  • 1¼ cup freshly grated Parmigiano Reggiano cheese, divided
  • ½ teaspooon sea salt
  • ¼ teaspoon pepper
  • 3 eggs, slightly beaten
  • 1½ pound (24 ounces) ground beef (preferably freshly ground)
  • 14 ounces ditalini pasta, about 5 cups cooked
  • 1 pound (16 ounces) shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 3 cups marinara sauce, divided

Spray a deep dish pie pan with cooking spray.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

In a large bowl, mix the bread crumbs, parsley, onion, 1/2 cup Parmigiano cheese, salt and pepper together until well blended. Add the eggs and ground beef and toss gently until ingredients are blended.  Do not over mix. Form a crust about an inch thick with the meat mixture in the pie plate.  Set aside.

Meanwhile, cook the ditalini pasta until just al dente.  Do not overcook - the pasta needs to be slightly underdone because it will cook further in the oven.  Drain the pasta.

In another large bowl, mix the cooked pasta with 3/4 cup of the grated Parmigiano cheese, the mozzarella cheese and 2 cups of the marinara sauce.  Mix well and then pour into the meat crust, forming a high dome with the pasta.  Cover with nonstick foil.

Bake at 350 for 1-1/2 hours, removing the foil the last 15 minutes to get the top a little crusty.  Remove from oven and let cool 15 minutes before serving.  

Slice into wedges and serve with the additional marinara sauce.