Sunday, July 21, 2013

Pasta Pie

Finally - the heatwave is over! The "cooler" weather came just in time for Sunday's Color Me Rad run at Metlife Stadium.  The 5K wasn't a timed run, so it was all about fun and our group of 17 was able to stay together the entire time.  Decked out in white and neon, Team "Same Same Name Name" (named after our coordinators Lindsey and Lindsey) ran/skipped/pranced/rolled/walked through stations shooting plumes of colored corn starch.  Visibility was low at times, but we were all smiles at the finish line! We donned clean shirts afterwards, but still sported a somewhat tie-dyed look as we enjoyed a much-deserved breakfast at Coach House Diner.  Thankfully, the color came off easily in the shower - otherwise it would've made for some interesting Monday morning conversation with my coworkers!

In preparation for the run, KK and I found ourselves carb-loading again.  To mix things up, KK found this pasta pie recipe that I saved back in 2009.  Although pie assembly was a bit tedious, I promise you the effort pays off! The pasta stuck together perfectly in pie form, and the edges were nice and crispy.  At first, I forgot to toss the pasta in Parmesan cheese, and the pasta was very slippery and difficult to stand up.  Luckily, KK pointed out the missing ingredient, and then working with the pasta became much more manageable.  When it comes time to stuffing the upright pasta with meat sauce, you need to get the ground turkey into the pasta pieces, so really break the turkey into the smallest pieces possible when you cook it.  After stuffing the pasta, cover the top with a thin layer of sauce, but save the rest for serving.  This dinner will definitely be repeated, but next time I'll serve it with some extra marinara sauce on the side.

Pasta Pie
Adapted from Noble Pig
Time: 1 hour
Serves: 4-6

1 lb. Rigatoni
2 Tbsp olive oil, divided
1 lb. ground turkey
2 garlic cloves, minced
Salt & pepper, to taste
Italian seasoning, to taste
28-oz. can crushed tomatoes
1 cup Parmesan cheese, grated
Cooking spray
1 cup shredded Italian cheese

1. Cook pasta until slightly underdone, about 2 minutes less than the recommended cook time.  Drain and rinse thoroughly with cold water.  Toss with 1 tablespoon olive oil and set aside.

2. Meanwhile, heat 1 Tablespoon olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat.  Add ground turkey to skillet.  Cook, stirring occasionally until browned, about 5-7 minutes.  Add garlic, season with salt, pepper and Italian seasoning; cook 2 additional minutes.

3. Add crushed tomatoes to the skillet; simmer until thickened, about 20 minutes.

4. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Spray 9-inch springform pan with cooking spray.

5. Toss pasta with Parmesan cheese. Tightly pack pasta into pan, standing each piece on end.  Cover pasta with meat sauce, pushing the sauce into each piece of pasta.  Excess sauce can be used when serving.

6. Cook for 15 minutes. Remove pan from oven and sprinkle cheese on top; bake another 10 minutes.  Remove from oven and let stand for 5 minutes.  Run a knife around the edge of the pan to loosen the pie, then release the edges of the springform.  Cut into wedges and serve with the remaining meat sauce.

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